Inmates described a pattern of sexual exploitation and abuse at the hands of guards, seven of whom have been charged.

Another round of indictments in the sexual assault scandal at the state’s women’s prison accuses one corrections officer — who has already been charged with several assaults — with helping a fellow guard sexually abuse two inmates.

The indictments handed down Thursday in Hunterdon County say that Ronald Coleman, 39, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania sexually assaulted one inmate between August and October of 2015 and another between January and May of 2016.

In both cases, his coworker, Brian Y. Ambroise, 33, of Union, allowed the women into a “secure area for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with Ronald Coleman,” the grand jurors’ indictment said.

Under state law, any sexual contact between inmates and staff is a crime because prisoners cannot legally consent.

Ambroise and Coleman are among the seven employees from the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility who have been charged with sexually abusing inmates. Four have been convicted.

After a 2017 NJ Advance Media investigation uncovered a pattern of sexual exploitation and assault in the prison, county prosecutors and the Attorney General’s Office launched separate investigations, and state lawmakers have proposed a third probe by a special commission. A civil rights probe is also being conducted by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

At least 11 lawsuits have been filed related to the abuses, including two class action suits.

This is the third round of indictments for Ambroise, who worked as a corrections officer at the facility for three years before his arrest in October of 2016. He was scheduled to go to trial on the first charges last fall when a grand jury indicted him for a second time after …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News


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