COLUMBIA, SC – Former Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Lieutenant Nicole Jenice Samples was indicted by a federal grand jury, according to the US District Attorney Beth Drake.
She is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and obstruction of justice.
The indictment says Samples directed the use of excessive force as punishment for two juveniles housed at DJJ.
It alleges the punishment was for the juveniles making noise. Sample ordered two correctional officer to hog-tie the juveniles.
The indictment says DJJ policy limits use of restraints and specifically forbids hog-tying juveniles.
It also alleges the juveniles were left face-down on their stomachs for over two hours.
Acting Director Freddie Pough stated, “We at DJJ make full review of allegations of abuse and/or mistreatment of all juveniles in our care, and we will not tolerate mistreatment by any staff or other residents. When this allegation was raised, after an initial review, we notified SLED, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in order that there was a full investigation. No officer is above the law. I would like to thank our State and Federal counterparts for their support and assistance with this investigation.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and SLED at the request of, and with the assistance of, the Department of Juvenile Justice and Acting Director Freddie Pough, according to the US Attorney’s Office.