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Former CO faces sex charges

A former Escambia County Sheriff’s Office transportation officer is facing federal charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female prisoner.

Samuel Hart was indicted by a federal grand jury after a June 26 incident when he allegedly engaged in sex acts while transporting a female federal inmate from the Coffee County Detention Center in New Brockton to Brewton’s Escambia County Detention Center.

Sheriff Grover Smith said Tuesday the incident was reported to his office in July. Instead of making a statement, Hart tendered his resignation in July prior to the launching of an internal investigation, Smith said.

“That investigation was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and later presented to a federal grand jury,” Smith said.

Hart had only been with the department 22 days prior to the alleged incident. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.