A Kentucky judge has given a jail guard convicted of sexually assaulting a female inmate two options: Join the Army or go straight to jail.
Brandon Scott Price, 28, was given the choice during his sentencing hearing in Franklin Circuit Court last week, the State Journal reported.
Judge Thomas Wingate gave Price — who is an Army veteran — a 12-month sentence that is probated for two years and ordered him to re-enlist in the US military within 30 days.
“If you don’t enroll in 30 days, you can report to the Franklin County Regional Jail,” the judge told him.
“You are under the gun, young man. You got to do it.”
Price was originally charged with third-degree sodomy in connection with the 2019 jail attack — but he pleaded down to a lesser charge of second-degree assault.
“You’re getting a huge break,” the judge told Prince said during his sentencing. “You made a terrible mistake, which I know personally cost the county money.”
Even if Price does re-enlist in the military, it wasn’t immediately clear if he would be accepted given his conviction.
The charges were brought against Price after a female inmate filed a lawsuit that alleged he sexually assaulted her when he was a guard at the Franklin County Regional Jail in January 2019.
Price assaulted her as he was transporting the inmate to a nearby medical facility to receive treatment for her high blood pressure, according to the lawsuit.
He took her to the hospital alone, which was a violation of jail policy, and stayed with her for five hours — during which time he made “sexually charged comments.”
When Price was driving the inmate back to jail after undergoing treatment, he pulled off onto a side road and asked her to perform oral sex on him in exchange for an earlier release, the lawsuit said.
He then went into the back of the van and allegedly assaulted the inmate while she was shackled.
During a subsequent interview about the allegations, Prince denied ordering the inmate to perform oral sex — but said he’d made a “stupid mistake” in letting her “touch me inappropriately.”
He was later arrested and posted a $10,000 bond.