ST. LOUIS – A former Missouri prison guard will spend several years behind bars after an inmate assault and a child pornography bust.
A federal judge has sentenced Carl Hart, 37, of Farmington, to seven years in prison in connection with both crimes.
According to a federal indictment, the investigation began after an inmate assault on Oct. 28, 2021 in Bonne Terre. It happened after a verbal disagreement about a poster that was damaged during a search of the inmate’s cell.
Investigators say Hart ordered the inmate out of his office and he did not immediately return to his cell during a lockdown. Two other corrections officers reportedly pepper-sprayed the victim. Then, the victim went to the shower to wash off the spray.
The indictment alleges that Hart followed the victim into the shower, struck him there and ordered him to the ground after he left the shower, handcuffed and compliant.
The victim reportedly suffered several head and facial injuries, blurry vision in one eye and damaged ribs. Following the assault, federal authorities proceeded with an investigation.
While investigating, authorities received a tip of suspected child pornography in Hart’s Dropbox account. The Missouri Highway Patrol Digital Forensics Unit found child pornography in Dropbox and on one of Hart’s phones.
“The defendant did not protect the children being sexually abused in the photos and videos he collected and viewed, he perpetuated their victimization,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Krug. She adds Hart also “did not protect a prisoner he was charged with keeping safe.”
Earlier in the year, Hart pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of possession of child pornography. The FBI and Missouri State Highway Patrol were among the agencies investigating his case.