Inmate awarded $1.3M in sex assault by guard

Jun 11th, 2009 | DENVER — A Colorado inmate who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard was awarded $1.3 million by a judge who said he wanted to send a message that prison rapes will not be tolerated.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. Circuit Judge David M. Ebel said the Colorado Department of Corrections doesn’t effectively prevent sexual assaults against inmates.

The woman at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility sued former Sgt. LeShawn Terrell last year, claiming he repeatedly assaulted her and raped her in 2006. She settled out of court with the Corrections Department for $250,000. Continue reading

Prison employee sentenced to prison for having sex with inmate

A former prison secretary has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for having sex with an inmate she was supposed to be supervising, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Colorado said Friday.

Janine Sligar, 47, of Wray, Colorado, was sentenced Thursday for sexual abuse of a ward. After serving her sentence, she will serve five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender, spokesman Jeff Dorschner said in a news release. Continue reading

Janine Sligar Found Guilty Of Sexually Abusing A Prison Inmate

Submitted story

Janine Sligar, a 47 year old former prison secretary, was sentenced to six months in prison on Thursday for having maintained a sexual relationship with an inmate under her supervision. Continue reading

Elkhart County corrections officer accused of stealing money

late post

ELKHART CO. — A corrections officer in Elkhart County has been fired and is now the target of a criminal investigation.

Authorities aren’t naming the employee who’s accused of stealing almost $10,000 from the sheriff’s department over several months.

Detectives say the employee has cooperated with investigators.

The case will be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office to determine if charges should be filed.


Prison Worker Charged With Smuggling Contraband

DENVER (CBS4) ― A former religious service counselor at a Florence prison was charged Monday with providing contraband, cigarettes and heroin, to an inmate.

John E. Thacker, 42, of Pueblo, who worked at the high-security U.S. Penitentiary, was charged in U.S. District Court.

An investigator said the inmate told him the inmate sold the cigarettes to other inmates for $200 a pack and they resold the packs for about $500 each.

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are prohibited in federal prisons and considered substances that threaten “the order and discipline” of prisons, the investigator, Paul Sullivan, wrote in a court affidavit.

The investigator said Thacker “indicated he brought (the inmate) approximately 20 cartons of cigarettes on 4 or 5 occasions in 2006.”

Sullivan said another inmate and the inmate’s wife told the investigator that the wife gave Thacker $1,500 to smuggle in contraband, including a small quantity of heroin hidden inside cigarette cartons.

The investigator said Thacker stated he had been offered money, but denied he received any money and denied knowing that heroin was in the cartons. He resigned his job with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

D.A. Files Charges Against Denver Deputy, Officer

The Denver district attorney filled charges against a Denver sheriff’s deputy and a police officer Monday.

The sheriff’s deputy is being charged with assault for allegedly assaulting an arrestee while being processed at the Denver City Jail, said D.A. Mitch Morrissey.The alleged assault happened in May.

Morrissey said the deputy, identified as Daniel Steckman, 34, is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 7.


Deputy pleads guilty to sex with inmate

STERLING, Colo. (Map, News) – A former sheriff’s deputy faces up to 60 days in jail after she plead guilty to having sexual contact with an inmate.

Detention deputy Lori Strohmeyer entered the plea in Logan County this week. The 28-year-old was fired in January after taped phone conversations with the inmate surfaced. Their relationship is alleged to have happened in the fall of 2007.

Strohmeyer will have to register as a sex offender. She will be sentenced Sept. 9.

The inmate, now serving his sentence in a community corrections program, asked a judge Tuesday to lift a restraining order and allow him to see the former deputy.


Guards fired every round during prison riot

The state lawmaker who represents Florence said guards in three towers at the maximum-security prison fired every round of lethal and nonlethal ammunition at their disposal Sunday to quell the melee that erupted when a white-supremacist prison gang taunted African-American inmates on Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

Two inmates who died were shot by guards, said state Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West.

McFadyen said she had been told by corrections officers that the riot at the United States Penitentiary in Florence erupted at about 12:30 p.m. Sunday when the white supremacists began yelling slurs toward African-Americans and a fight ensued.

The two inmates who were killed were shot after refusing to follow repeated orders from correctional officers and were fired upon only as a last resort, said McFadyen.

The spokesperson for the Florence prison, Leann LaRiva, confirmed in a release today that the guards did fire on inmates, and she identified the two inmates killed as Brian Scott Kubik and Phillip Lee Hooker.

Kubik, 40, was serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted in federal court in Oregon as an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. Hooker, 41, was serving a 25-year sentence for armed robbery on charges out of Milwaukee. Kubik was white, and Hooker was black.

LaRiva said the riot, involving 150 to 200 inmates, was racially motivated. She said inmates were armed with homemade weapons, including rocks, sharpened metal, plastic and wood.

McFadyen said that the corrections officers repeatedly fired what are called “no man” rounds — warning shots into the yard away from human targets. The intent is to scare and warn, not to hit a target, she said.

LaRiva said the guards verbally warned the inmates to settle down, then fired “tactical distraction rounds” before using lethal force.

“The quick and effective response by staff prevented further loss of life,” she said in the new release.

Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, said the FBI’s Denver-based “evidence-response team” is currently going through the recreation yard where the riot erupted, collecting evidence.

He said the FBI is working with U.S. Bureau of Prisons investigators to determine what happened.

LaRiva said the prison is still on lockdown.

In a statement released last night, LaRiva said five inmates were taken to local hospitals for treatment. There was no further word on their condition.

McFadyen said that at the height of the riot, the total federal prison campus was on lockdown, with officers from the other three prisons on the four-prison campus being called into quell the riot.

The other three prisons include the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, or “Supermax”; the medium security Federal Correctional Institution; and a minimum security camp.

McFadyen has repeatedly warned that the U.S. Penitentiary, where the riot occurred, was about to blow.

Early last year, Ken Shatto, the guard union leader, and McFadyen held a news conference warning of the danger.

Shatto said that in February 2007, tower guards were forced to fire lethal and nonlethal rounds to stop inmates from killing one another.

“Today, I’m trying to head off full-blown riots,” Shatto said then. “That’s where I think we are headed.”

McFadyen said today that although Supermax receives more publicity, the U.S. penitentiary is extremely dangerous because of the “domestic gangs” there.

She said the gangs, such as the white-supremacist gang, are “very organized” and that many of their members are “doing life without any opportunity for parole.”


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Under the old cosgoingwrong link On the right side of the home page.

Guard accused of having sex with inmate

Guard accused of having sex with inmate PUEBLO _ A prison guard has been issued a summons on accusations that she had sex with a male inmate at San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo.

Thirty-two-year-old Dominique Romero, also known by the surname Rivas, faces a charge of sexual contact inside a correctional institution.

Prosecutors allege the relationship went on between Oct. 1 and Dec. 12.

Corrections officials say Romero was hired May 1, 2000, and was fired last year, on Dec. 21.

A court appearance was scheduled for Feb. 25.




SCF officer arrested
Officer accused of harassing mother of alleged mistress

Gary Little

STERLING — A Sterling Correctional Facility officer was arrested Jan. 16 on suspicion of harassing the mother of a woman whom he is accused of having an affair with, and who filed charges against his wife after she attacked her.

Gary Little, 34, of Sterling, was arrested at Sterling Correctional Facility Jan. 16 and charged with one count of intimidating a witness or victim, a class-four felony.

The original incident occurred between the late hours of Dec. 31 and the early morning of Jan. 1. Little’s wife, Eva Little, was charged with disturbing the peace for striking the woman with whom Gary Little was accused of having an affair.

A Sterling Police officer was dispatched to the home of the woman’s mother on Jan. 10. The mother told the officer that Little was having an affair with her 24-year-old daughter until the Dec. 31 altercation. The mother said Little had called her home approximately nine times that day. While the officer was interviewing the mother, Little called the home again from a private number. The officer told Little not to call anymore, and Little said he was done.

The mother said Little started calling shortly after 10:15 p.m. and became angry after she would not give him her daughter’s new phone number. She said Little threatened to make her life “a living hell” if she did not drop the charges against his wife.

The mother told the officer she had worked with Little at the prison before she was fired. She accused Little of making accusations against her that caused her firing.

Sterling Correctional Facility had no comment.




Deputies disciplined in jail death

Two sheriff’s deputies were suspended for three days in the death of a woman who bled to death in the Denver City Jail, the city’s police monitor said in a report released today.

A third deputy quit before discipline could be imposed. The deputies’ supervisor and a fourth deputy received cautionary letters in their file.

The report by Denver Independent Police Monitor Richard Rosenthal came nearly two years after 24-year-old Emily Rice screamed and begged for help in the jail, then died. An autopsy showed she had a 7-inch gash in her liver and a ruptured spleen.

Doctors at Denver Health Medical Center cleared Rice before she was discharged and taken to the jail after a car crash Feb. 18, 2006. A breath test showed that her blood alcohol content was 0.121 percent. Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more is illegal.

The family has been demanding action from the city since her death Feb. 19, 2006, and filed a federal lawsuit against the city, Denver Health Medical Center and nearly 50 deputies, jail guards, doctors and nurses.

There were valid reasons for the frustrating, lengthy delays in the city’s investigation, Rosenthal said.

He also said that gaps in the jail’s video surveillance system were not caused by deliberate tampering.

“This is an outrage,” said Darold Killmer, attorney for Rice’s family. “This report is intended to give the appearance of independent review, and that makes it even more evil. It’s rubber stamping. Whatever the safety manager and sheriff say is fine with him.”

The report ignores the key issue of why Emily Rice died in the jail and why cries of help from her and other inmates were ignored, Killmer said.

“It’s like the Titanic sinks, and he says the deck chairs needed polishing,” Killmer said.

After a lengthy investigation by Denver safety manager Al LaCabe, three deputies were disciplined for falsifying records about rounds that weren’t conducted in Rice’s case.

Two deputies were suspended for three days for false documentation. One of them also was cited for failing to notify nursing staff of the need to immediately examine Rice when she arrived at the jail. More severe discipline wasn’t warranted for that deputy because Rice had just been cleared by doctors at Denver Health, Rosenthal said.

A third deputy resigned before discipline was imposed. Rosenthal said she should have been fired for false round documentation and lying to internal affairs.

Cautionary letters were issued to the deputies’ supervisor and a fourth deputy for false round documentation.

LaCabe completed his investigation in November, but disciplinary actions were not made public because of personnel confidentiality rules.

Determining exactly what took place during Rice’s stay at the jail — including what rounds really took place — was undermined by gaps in the jail’s video system. However, Rosenthal said he was convinced that the gaps didn’t result from deliberate tampering.

Deficiencies in the system have already been corrected, Rosenthal said.

The criminal investigation took seven months before the Denver district attorney’s office concluded that no criminal charges could be filed against deputies in Rice’s case.

The sheriff’s department internal affairs investigation began after that, but was thwarted by the refusal of Denver Health Medical Center staff to cooperate or talk to investigators, Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal said an agreement has been reached in which Denver Health staff will cooperate in future investigations.

Thorough investigation and documentation of the case also took time, he said.

“As such, any time delays associated with completing the investigation and its write-up were considered to be acceptable,” Rosenthal said.

Rice slammed into another car as she turned into a gas station at East Hampden Avenue and Happy Canyon Road on Feb. 18, 2006. She was taken to Denver Health Medical Center, where doctors cleared her for release to the jail. Staff at the jail described her as “uncooperative” and dismissed her complaints as the rants of an intoxicated “drama queen” and ignored her cries for help — cries that went on for hours, jail records show. She grew weaker as the hours passed and died early Feb. 19, 2006.

State regulators said the hospital engaged in “patient dumping” in Rice’s case. A division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment cited the hospital for failing to properly screen her for injuries, stabilize her before she was transferred to the jail or reassess her condition before she was discharged.

The hospital has declined to comment on the Rice case, including the state’s findings.




Inmate Sues Jail, officers Blames It For His Escapes

DENVER — An inmate who twice escaped from the Pueblo County jail filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, alleging that guards abused him and didn’t do enough to stop him from breaking out.

Scott Anthony Gomez, Jr. alleges that guards have sprayed him with pepper spray, shot him with a stun gun, and beaten and kicked him without provocation. He also claims that employees of the Pueblo County sheriff’s department got other inmates to assault him.

The suit in U.S. District Court in Denver was filed against Pueblo County, former sheriff Dan Corsentino, current sheriff Kirk Taylor, six guards and their supervisors. A sheriff’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message left afterhours and there was no listed telephone number for Corsentino, who left office last January

According to the suit, Gomez and another inmate escaped on Nov. 22, 2006 — the second jail escape that year — by pushing up a ceiling panel, getting into the jail’s ventilation system and lowering themselves from the roof using a rope made of bed sheets. Gomez was captured two days later.

Gomez alleges he told Corsentino that there were many ways to get out of the jail but that security wasn’t improved.

Gomez claims he was assaulted by a guard on Jan. 3, 2007 and then charged with inciting a riot, prompting him to plan another escape with another inmate. He alleges the cell doors in his maximum security wing could be easily opened and he was able to loosen a tile in a shower ceiling when a guard left the area unattended for an hour.

According to the lawsuit, after climbing out a hole in the ceiling, Gomez was seriously injured when he fell 40 feet while trying to scale down the side of the jail.

The lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount of money, claims authorities “did next to nothing to ensure that the jail was secure and that the Plaintiff could not escape.”




Inmate escapes in CDOT van
A Denver County Jail inmate serving 270 days for marijuana possession escaped from a work crew in a Colorado Department of Transportation van when the driver stopped to have a tire repaired.

Gregory Kilcollins, 22, had already served one month of his sentence when he left the jail this morning to work on the crew.

At about 9 a.m., the CDOT employee supervising Kilcollins and two other inmates stopped at A&E Tire on 52nd Avenue and Vasquez Boulevard to have a slow tire leak repaired, said Capt. Frank Gale, a jail spokesman.

Kilcollins remained outside while the CDOT driver “went in to talk to the attendant and two others in the crew went in to go to the restroom,” Gale said.

The driver left the keys in the white van, and Kilcollins, who has been in jail on misdemeanor traffic or drug charges seven times since 2003, drove off. The van was pulling a small trailer carrying tools.

Kilcollins, who was wearing a dark blue jail jumpsuit, could face a felony charge and a sentence of several years for stealing the van when he is caught, Gale said. “Potentially, he is looking at some really serious time based on just this one stupid act.”

Nonviolent inmates such as Kilcollins, who pose no risk to the community, are frequently assigned to work crews. He had been working on the crew collecting trash along state highways for three weeks before he escaped.

In October, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail. After he was released, he went to court on a separate, pending case for possession of hashish and received his current sentence.



Date Posted: 18:01:35 06/04/07 Mon

ICE Was Informed Of Arapahoe County Colorado Wetback’s Detention, But Did Nothing – A Week Latter He Stapped His Former Girlfriend To Death
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, COLORADO – A week before an illegal immigrant allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death, Arapahoe County jailers told federal immigration officials they had the Chilean locked up, but no effort was made to deport him.

“It boils down to a priority issue,” said Carl Rusnok, spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “We have to go after the most serious offenders. In this particular case, the traffic and drunken-driving charges didn’t rise to that level of seriousness. Unfortunately, the one he committed now does.”

ICE did place a hold on Freddy Aguilera-Zamora, 31, on Thursday after a Denver Post reporter notified the agency that Aguilera-Zamora was being held in Denver City Jail for investigation of first-degree murder.

“We’ll place him in deportation proceedings,” Rusnok said. ICE officials have confirmed that the native of Chile is an illegal immigrant, he said.

However, before deportation can be considered, Aguilera-Zamora first faces a possible charge in the death of his ex-girlfriend Britt Mackay, who was stabbed multiple times in her apartment in the 2200 block of South Josephine Street on Wednesday morning.

Another former girlfriend of Aguilera-Zamora, who asked to remain anonymous, said she called police when he climbed onto the second-floor balcony of her Parker apartment on Jan. 7, 2005, and pounded on her window.

Parker police arrested him that morning as he drove away from her apartment and charged him with a misdemeanor count of drunken driving.

“I thought for sure he’ll be deported,” the woman said, adding that Aguilera-Zamora had told her earlier he entered the country illegally. “This angers me a lot. It doesn’t make sense. I was surprised they let him out of jail last week.”

The woman said that her early-morning encounter with Aguilera-Zamora had some similarities with the circumstances leading to Mackay’s death.

In both instances, he had been drinking, she said. And shortly before Aguilera-Zamora climbed up the side of her building, she had broken up with him.

Mackay’s mother, Carol Mackay, said her daughter had split with Aguilera-Zamora, a plumber, about two months ago.

She said she did not know he was an illegal immigrant.

Arapahoe County Under sheriff Mark Campbell said his deputies call ICE whenever they suspect someone is an illegal immigrant regardless of the seriousness of the crime. In Aguilera-Zamora’s case, a deputy called ICE on May 7, the day he entered the jail, but was told there would be no ICE hold on him. Campbell declined to comment further.

Rusnok said ICE doesn’t have enough resources to investigate every referral the agency receives on a possible illegal immigrant. Instead, ICE focuses on the most serious offenders.

Last year, ICE deported more than 88,000 immigrant criminals to other countries, he said. A total of 195,000 illegal immigrants were deported, Rusnok said.