Rhode Island prison guard charged with striking inmate

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island prison guard has been arrested on simple assault charges because investigators say he struck a handcuffed inmate in the face.

An investigation found that 55-year-old Mark Denis, an Adult Correctional Institutions officer, struck the maximum security inmate while awaiting a prison disciplinary proceeding.

The inmate was not seriously injured and did not require medical treatment.

Denis, of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, was arrested Tuesday and released on $1,000 personal recognizance.

He faces up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.

Denis has been on paid administrative leave since January.

No defense attorney is listed in online court records.