DeSoto assaulted by inmate while en route to court - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

DeSoto assaulted by inmate while en route to court

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - The Department of Corrections launches an internal affairs investigation after Chad DeSoto was allegedly assaulted by another detainee.

He was on his way to court as the defendant in an ongoing murder trial, but yesterday, DeSoto was the victim. Agency director Jose San Agustin said, "From what I understood at about yesterday morning while Mr. Chad De Soto was being escorted from his cell heading to the court, apparently one of the inmates in the housing unit was also out for fresh air and apparently an assault has taken place on Mr. Chad De Soto."

San Agustin confirms DeSoto and his alleged attacker were housed in a 23 to one unit; for every 23 hours in their cell, prisoners are allowed one hour of fresh air.

DeSoto was being escorted to court at the same time the detainee was taking his hour of fresh air. "So there was some negligence on our side of the house so that's why I launched an internal investigation to find out what took place," said San Agustin. "Anything like this that happens in DOC I take immediate action immediately because it should not have happened."

San Agustin suspects DepCor staff may be burnt out. During an oversight hearing yesterday, he testified that the agency has only hired ten new corrections officers as of late and pointed the blame at the lengthy recruitment process. "I really think that a lot of our officers at this point are burnt out, but again we don't neglect our duties and responsibilities - the simple act of securing the prisoner when one is out, is very simple - so a lot of it again is reiteration reminding them what their duties and responsibilities are and making sure that they execute those duties and responsibilities," he said.

IA investigations must be completed within 60 days. San Agustin anticipates the investigation will be brief because there were only two officers involved. "Because there's two officers in that housing unit, one is at the central control the other one should be walking the range, so again the investigation should reveal what happened," he said.

KUAM has confirmed Maxen Masaru was the detainee who allegedly assaulted DeSoto. According to DepCor spokesperson Jeff Limo, Masaru has a history of behavioral issues at the prison. Earlier this year, Masaru stabbed a corrections officer in the head with a gel pen.

Masaru will appear in court tomorrow afternoon where he will be formerly charged with assault on DeSoto.

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