Ex-Prison Transport Officer Admits Raping Detainees

Marquet Johnson faces maximum sentence of 30 years under federal plea deal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2023 2:33 PM CST
Ex-Prison Transport Officer Pleads Guilty to Raping Detainees
Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, to be followed by up to five years of supervised release.   (Getty Images/sasun bughdaryan)

A former prison transport officer has pleaded guilty to raping detainees and will face a maximum of 30 years in federal prison under a plea deal. Marquet Johnson, 44, admitted that he raped two detainees while working for private prisoner transport company Inmate Services Corporation in 2019 and forced a third to perform oral sex on him, NBC News reports. One victim, a pretrial detainee, told investigators that Johnson produced a weapon while his transport partner was out of the vehicle and told her it would "get ugly" if she didn't cooperate with him. Johnson admitted that he held the weapon against the woman's cheek as he raped her, prosecutors say.

"Every person has a basic right to dignity and respect," US Attorney Alexander Uballez for the District of New Mexico said in a statement. "And nobody, no matter the crime of which they are being accused, deserves to be raped. When jailers fail their duty to those in their charge, they will join them in custody." Johnson, as a prison transport officer, "performed the government function of picking up individuals who were arrested on out-of-state warrants and transporting those individuals back to the jurisdictions that issued the warrants," federal authorities said.

Laura Schauer Ives, an attorney representing one of Johnson's victims, says companies like ISC are "underregulated' and aren't "even meeting the minimum standards that we set for jails," KOB reports. "These companies just shouldn't exist," she says. "This should be the work of the government and actual government actors who are held responsible." She says that while Johnson will be sentenced in connection with three victims under the plea deal, 11 women said they were raped by him in the year he worked for the company. (More prisoners stories.)

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