Former Prisoner Transport Officer pleads guilty to Sexually Assaulting female detainee in Joplin

Former Prisoner Transport Officer pleads guilty to Sexually Assaulting female detainee in Joplin
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – A former prisoner transport officer pleaded guilty in federal court in the Western District of Missouri sexually assaulting a female detainee in Joplin.

“We acknowledge the courage of this survivor who reported the defendant’s egregious crimes as soon as she was dropped off in Minneapolis,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “A private prisoner transport officer’s job is to keep those in their custody safe and secure, and this defendant did the opposite. The Justice Department is committed to holding anyone carrying out a law enforcement function accountable when they abuse their authority to perpetrate such appalling crimes.”

Rogeric Hankins, 37, pleaded guilty to to violating a female detainee’s civil rights by sexually assaulting her.

“A private prisoner transport officer abused his position of trust and authority by sexually assaulting a detainee who was in his custody while transporting her through Missouri,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore for the Western District of Missouri. “Such a violent civil rights violation will not be tolerated by the Department of Justice. Individuals who wield their official power to rape and assault victims in their care will be held accountable for their criminal behavior.”

Officials say Hankins was responsible for picking up and transporting prisoners with out-of-state warrants and bring them back to their original jurisdiction.

The Department of Justice says “On April 3, 2020, before arriving in Minnesota, Hankins stopped the transport van at a gas station in Joplin, Missouri. Hankins brought the victim into the gas station to use the bathroom. After the victim used the women’s bathroom, Hankins led her into the men’s bathroom, and told her to go into the stall furthest from the door. Once inside the stall, Hankins began to try to pull the victim’s shirt up. She resisted and told Hankins to stop. In response, Hankins told the victim to be quiet and made her perform a sexual act on him. Hankins then further sexually assaulted the victim, while bending her over a toilet seat.”

Though a trial date has not yet been set, Hankins faces the following:

  • a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment
  • three years of mandatory supervised release
  • a $250,000 fine

The FBI Minneapolis Field Division, with assistance from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case.