Crime and Courts

Suburban NYC Jail Guards Accused of Sexually Mistreating Non-White Female Inmates

One is accused of allowing contraband into the Rockland County Correctional Center and engaging in what prosecutors deemed an "inappropriate relationship with female minority inmates," while the other is accused of sexual harassment

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Two jail guards in the New York City suburbs were indicted Friday on charges alleging they sexually mistreated non-white female inmates.

Christopher Taggart, 39, is accused of allowing contraband into the Rockland County Correctional Center and engaging in what prosecutors deemed an "inappropriate relationship with female minority inmates."

John Kezek, 35, is accused of sexually harassment. Both are charged with multiple counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor, while Taggart also faces charges of promoting prison contraband, a felony.

Taggart is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 11 and remains free on his own recognizance. Information on Kezek’s court date and lawyers who could speak on the men’s behalf was not listed in court records.

A telephone number for the county correctional officers’ union connected instead to the county sheriff’s office.

District Attorney Thomas Walsh said prosecutors started looking into the treatment of female inmates after a defense lawyer alerted his office about intimidating and sexually harassment her client was enduring.

"Far too often, female inmates are not considered to have the same rights as those of us who are walking the streets," Walsh said. "We can’t allow a systemic issue of female minorities being mistreated in our jails."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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