Former Arkansas Prisoner Transport Officer Faces Life in Jail for Sexually Assaulting Female Inmates in His Custody

A prisoner transport officer has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two female inmates who were in his custody.

Eric Scott Kindley, 52, was convicted by a federal jury in Little Rock, Arkansas, of sexual assault as well as knowingly possessing a firearm during one of the assaults in 2017.

During the trial, a court heard how Kindley operated a private prisoner transport company that contracted with local jails. He was tasked with driving individuals who had been arrested on out-of-state warrants.

Kindley often drove those he was transporting for hundreds of miles in his unmarked white minivan. Evidence was given from six women whom he transported between 2012 and 2017, each describing a similar pattern of behavior from Kindley.

While driving the women in handcuffs, Kindley would make a number of sexually explicit comments that "escalated in intensity and depravity," according to prosecutors. Some women would respond and make a joke out of the situation, whereas others said nothing.

Kindley would then drive the women to isolated areas, putting them in fear for their safety.

One woman testified that Kindley drove her to a deserted area near Little Rock in 2017 and sexually assaulted her while she was still in handcuffs. He reminded the victim that she was "an inmate in transport" and therefore no one would believe her if she reported the assault.

A second woman also told the court that Kindley drove her another deserted area of Arkansas, and forced her to perform a sex act on him in 2014.

Other women also alleged that the prison transport officer either sexually assaulted them or forced them to perform a sex act on him. One woman claimed Kindley attempted to sexually assault her after he pulled over during a snowstorm while driving her from California to Montana in 2013.

"Today's conviction was made possible by the brave women who testified about their abuse, and the tireless work of federal investigators and prosecutors over the last three years," Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division said in a statement.

Kindley is also under indictment in the Central District of California for assaulting two other women in his custody—one of whom testified at this trial—in 2012 and 2017, and for again brandishing a firearm during one of the assaults.

Kindley faces a maximum of life in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

"Kindley took advantage of his authority to exploit the very people he was entrusted with transporting across the country," said Sean Kaul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. "We commend the many victims, across the nation, who came forward to report this despicable crime.

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(File photo) A corrections bus enters Rikers Island on March 31, 2017 in New York City. A prison transport driver has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two female inmates. Spencer Platt/Getty