Former jail officials facing new charges

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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A federal grand jury returned an indictment against two former Rockbridge County Regional Jail officials.

The superseding indictment contained not only the original charges filed against Gary Hassler and John Higgins, but also new charges.

Higgins, the former superintendent of the jail, is charged with four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. Higgins allegedly denied inmates medical care, causing bodily harm to inmates.

He’s also charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and 15 counts of mail fraud.

The newest indictment accused Higgins of accepting prescription drugs for personal use, from a pharmacy contracted to care for inmates, in exchange for a business relationship between the jail and pharmacy.

He’s also accused of accepting bribes from family members of inmates in exchange for allowing special treatment.

Hassler, former head nurse, is facing new charges including falsifying documents in order to obstruct a federal investigation.

According to Virginia State Police Higgins and Hassler were indicted back in August 2018 on their original charges.

Higgins is accused of allowing the inmates to be physically abused in addition to preventing inmates from receiving medical treatment.

Hassler allegedly documented false information on February 2017, claiming an inmate refused to take his medication. He also reported an inmate refused medical attention in March 2017.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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