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Baltimore police officer charged with punching juvenile in jail cell

Prosecutors charged Baltimore police officer Andrew M. Fitzgerald with assault on Tuesday after he allegedly entered a boy's cell in the city Juvenile Booking Facility and punched him in the face.

Fitzgerald, a 26-year veteran, faces charges of second-degree assault and misconduct, the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office said. On Feb. 17, prosecutors said, he entered the alleged victim's cell and struck the boy.

Second-degree assault carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, while judges have discretion in deciding sentences for misconduct in office, prosecutors said. Fitzgerald is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 5.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Fitzgerald and it was not known Tuesday if he was being represented. Fitzgerald has been suspended with pay, police said.

"The Baltimore Police Department has no tolerance for officers who act outside the scope of the law," the department said in a statement. "The department supports the Office of the State's Attorney, which in conjunction with our Professional Standards and Accountability Bureau, will continue to hold officers accountable for their actions."

A call to the Baltimore police union was not immediately returned Tuesday.

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