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2 ex-Santa Barbara deputies indicted in jail assault

Published On: Apr 14 2014 12:06:15 PM CDT
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Two former Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies accused of assaulting an inmate at the county jail have been indicted by a federal grand jury on felony charges.

Former custody deputies Christopher Johnson and Robert Kirsch are accused of attacking inmate Charles Owens last year while he was awaiting trial on murder and rape charges.

Sheriff's spokesperson Kelly Hoover says Johnson was indicted last week on charges of depravation of rights under the color of law, obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting.  Kirsch was indicted on charges of depravation of rights under the color of law and aiding and abetting.

Both men no longer work for the department.

Owens is now serving life without parole at Folsom State Prison after being convicted in October.