Barrett Boeker

Barrett Boeker

A corrections officer fired from the Louisiana State Penitentiary after officials say he used excessive force against an inmate has had his criminal charges upgraded to a felony. 

Lt. Barrett Boeker, who worked at Angola since 2001, was fired in May after he argued with an inmate before spraying him with a fire extinguisher, according to state corrections officials. Boeker claimed there had been a fire in the inmate’s cell during the March 19 incident, but an investigation revealed that was not so.

Boeker was issued a summons May 11 on misdemeanor simple battery by the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, but the charge has since been upgraded to malfeasance in office — a felony. He appeared in court Thursday for his arraignment and has been given a trial date of Jan. 11, 2021.

“We had him charged as a misdemeanor and thought he might go ahead and take advantage and enter a plea to that, but he didn’t,” said West Feliciana District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla. “So we’re just going to upgrade the charges. That’s normally what we do.”

Boeker is not currently being detained at the parish prison, D'Aquila said.

Boeker's attorney did not return a request for comment.

In 2017, a grand jury rejected criminal charges alleging Boeker, then an assistant warden, had raped a woman on the prison’s grounds. The Advocate reported the grand jury was not provided with the sexual assault forensic examination and report conducted by the nurse several days after the alleged assault. 

Boeker had been placed on administrative leave following the rape allegation but later returned to work at the prison.

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