Inmate Beats Cellmate, ‘Disgusted’ Because He Spoke of Abusing Children

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NEWTON, Iowa -- An inmate at the Newton Correctional Center is facing charges for beating his cellmate earlier this month.

The Newton Daily News reports 31-year-old Keith Piper punched, kicked and cut his cellmate with a razor over two days. He is now charged with willful injury causing bodily injury.

Jasper County Sheriff's Office reports detail the assault. Piper reportedly told the other inmate he needed to build respect with the other inmates by showing he could take a beating. The inmate allowed Piper to hit him in the ribs about 19 times.

The next day, Piper told the inmate he needed to beat him again. Piper put a sweatshirt in the inmate's mouth to quiet him and began hitting him. The documents say Piper used a padlock in a sock to beat the victim. He then took a razor to the victim's face to reduce the swelling, Piper told authorities.

Officers did not stop the assault until the victim pushed an assistance button in the cell, the Newton Daily News reports.

Piper told authorities he assaulted the other inmate because he continued to talk about sexually abusing children.

The American Civil Liberties Union said this raises concerns.

"Prisoners are entitled to have their basic needs met, including food, water, medical care, shelter and protection. The United States Supreme Court has said that prison guards can be held civilly liable if they are not protected from abuse from guards themselves or other prisoners," said Joseph Fraioli, ACLU staff attorney.

Piper is serving a five-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender. He remains at the Newton Correction Facility.

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