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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A high-ranking law enforcement officer in a small North Carolina county has been arrested after federal authorities say he beat a jailed inmate.

Hertford County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Timothy Lassiter was taken into custody Monday after his felony indictment for violating the civil rights of an inmate in the county jail.

Prosecutors say Lassiter struck and assaulted the inmate June 12, injuring him. The inmate is identified in the indictment only by the initials T.P. Authorities say he was in the jail awaiting trial.

Lassiter did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Hertford Sheriff Juan E. Vaughan also did not respond to a message left at his office.

Lassiter faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted.

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