(STL.News) Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that COLIN AKPARANTA, formerly a correctional officer at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”), which houses federal inmates in Manhattan, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 40 months in prison for engaging in abusive sexual contact with an inmate.
AKPARANTA previously pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox to one count of abusive sexual contact of an inmate, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2244(a)(4), and one count of deprivation of the constitutional rights of that inmate, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242. In connection with the plea, AKPARANTA also admitted that he engaged in abusive sexual contact with six additional victims, and engaged in sexual acts with all seven of the victims. U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield, who accepted AKPARANTA’s guilty plea, imposed today’s sentence.
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Colin Akparanta repeatedly abused his position of authority as a correctional officer at the MCC by sexually abusing inmates whose safety and security he was duty-bound to protect. Today’s sentence should send a strong message that correctional officers who abuse their authority and commit crimes will be held to account. This Office will remain vigilant to ensure that all inmates are afforded the dignity and security they deserve.”
According to the Indictment, other filings in this case, and statements during court proceedings:
AKPARANTA was employed as a correctional officer at the MCC starting in 2004. Between in or about late 2012 and in or about April 2018, AKPARANTA used his official position to engage in sexual acts and contact with at least seven female inmates at the MCC while they were under AKPARANTA’s custodial, supervisory, and disciplinary authority. AKPARANTA digitally penetrated the victims’ vaginas and touched their breasts, buttocks, and/or genitalia.
AKPARANTA also had some of the victims touch his penis over his pants. In addition, AKPARANTA smuggled contraband, including, but not limited to, personal hygiene items, makeup, and food into the MCC for some of the victims, and, with respect to at least one of the victims, explicitly conditioned his provision of contraband on the inmate’s continued performance of sexual acts with him. AKPARANTA also asked the victims for their contact information in order to reach them after their release.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Schofield sentenced AKPARANTA, 44, of Irvington, New Jersey, to two years of supervised release.
Ms. Strauss praised the investigative work of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption, Violent and Organized Crime, and Civil Rights Units. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lara Pomerantz, Sarah Krissoff, and Rachael Doud are in charge of the prosecution.