PONTIAC — Video of an incident at Pontiac Correctional Center may answer questions about what happened to an inmate allegedly assaulted in early February, according to the lawyer for one of three correctional officers charged with official misconduct and battery.
"We know almost every inch of the prison system has video coverage. If the allegation is that this happened, we want to see it," said Joshua Rinker, counsel for James Fike.
Fike, 31, of Bloomington, Jason Cremer, 45, of Odell, and Giovanni Rodriguez, 21, of Normal are each charged with official misconduct and battery of a inmate. The official misconduct charge, a felony, is based on the alleged Feb. 3 battery by the state workers. The misdemeanor battery charge accuses the men of causing bodily harm to an incarcerated person.
Rinker said Fike will plead not guilty on Thursday.
In a comment on the arrests, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess said, "The Illinois Department of Corrections takes safety of staff and those sentenced to us seriously. Any activity that compromises that is not tolerated. Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details can be provided at this time."
Fike and Cremer both posted $500 and Rodriguez posted $300 to be released following court appearances in Livingston County court. Cremer is represented by attorney James Casson; court records do not indicate if Rodriguez is represented by a lawyer.
Officials of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 49 which represents prison workers could not be reached for comment on the charges.
If convicted of official misconduct, the officers are eligible for two to five years in prison and up to a year in jail on the battery offense.