This is a depressing story, if you hadn’t figured that out from the headline.
Johan Asiata played two games for the Chicago Bears back in 2010, and after knocking around the CFL and other leagues, became a prison guard. Asiata is now implicated as part of a ring of guards accused of systematic abuse of juvenile prisoners.
Deadspin’s Lindsey Adler broke down the charges in a lengthy post that’s worth the read:
He is accused of “intentionally [failing] to report the commission of a battery as required by law,” “[allowing] juvenile residents to rough house and horseplay,” “[striking] victims about the body,” and “[bringing] contraband onto the youth center property,” amongst other things.
Asiata is charged along with believed ringleader Michael Klimek and co-conspirators Andre McFarland and Elliott Short.
Klimek faces 76 felony charges. Altogether they outline a harrowing portrait of violence against and incited among juvenile inmates. Klimek is accused of assaulting inmates and “[committing] the offense of mob action”—essentially creating false social strata to turn some inmates into violent disciplinarians of their fellow inmates.
That’s obviously bad. If you’re wondering what form those violations could potentially take:
A press release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office describes the case as such:
[T]he guards, led by Klimek, encouraged certain juvenile residents to physically attack other juvenile residents, facilitated the attacks and stood idly by during the attacks. The offenses took place in January 2016 at the Illinois Youth Center-St. Charles.
So, essentially, guards were encouraging juvenile prisoners to attack each other while watching it happen. Just horrifying, really.
Asiata was arrested and released on bond.