TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A federal grand jury has returned a three-count indictment charging a federal correctional officer with sexually abusing three inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee.
Jimmy Lee Highsmith, 41, was charged with sexual abuse of a ward in an indictment issued on Feb. 2. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the indictment on Thursday.
Highsmith, who currently lives in Yazoo, Mississippi, was arrested Wednesday night by federal agents.
According to federal investigators, the indictment alleges that while employed as a U.S. Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer at FCI Tallahassee, Highsmith engaged in sexual acts with three inmates who were under his custodial, supervisory and disciplinary authority.
The abuse allegedly took place between March 2014 and September 2018.
If convicted, Highsmith faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine, per count.
His initial appearance will take place at 4:30 p.m. CST Thursday afternoon at the Thad Cochran United States Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi. Highsmith’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for February 17 at 1:30 p.m. EST before United States Magistrate Judge Fitzpatrick at the United States Courthouse in Tallahassee.
Assistant United States Attorneys David L. Goldberg and Lazaro P. Fields are prosecuting the case, which resulted from a long-term investigation by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.