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Prisoner transport officer sentenced for sexually abusing restrained woman

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former private prisoner transport officer is headed to prison after sexually assaulting a woman during transport in 2017.

James Baldinger, 51, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque to two years in prison for touching a restrained woman without her consent while taking her from Kentucky to Bernalillo County on an out of state warrant, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

“As a result of Baldinger’s conduct, the victim suffered pain and injury,” the release stated. “Baldinger admitted that he knew what he was doing was wrong and against the law, yet he did so anyway.”

U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said Baldinger, by using his law enforcement authority over the woman, “committed a grievous violation of the public trust.”

Baldinger had worked for PTS, which contracts with government agencies to transport individuals arrested on out-state-warrants, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.