AMERICAN FALLS — A former captain with the Power County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced Tuesday for committing battery on a jail inmate.
Judge R. Todd Garbett sentenced David Preston to 30 days in jail, but suspended that time and placed him on probation for up to 12 months. Preston will also have to pay a $1,000 fine and court costs, according to Ryan Jolley, the Bonneville County deputy prosecuting attorney who handled the case.
Preston was charged with misdemeanor battery for unlawfully touching a male inmate at the Power County Jail on the buttocks on May 24, according to court records. The inmate was not injured.
The incident was brought to Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries’ attention at the end of June.
Since Preston worked for the sheriff’s office, law enforcement officials in Power County asked the Tri-County Sheriff’s Association to investigate the incident and the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if any criminal charges were warranted.
Preston was subsequently charged with battery in late August, according to court records. He then pleaded guilty to the crime as part of a plea agreement.
Jolley said Preston’s punishment is standard for this type of crime and aligned with the prosecution’s recommendations.
Preston is no longer employed at the Power County Sheriff’s Office.
A news release issued by Power County’s prosecutor and sheriff in August indicated that an internal investigation had also been conducted and that appropriate administrative action had been taken. They did not release any additional details about the personnel matter.