Federal prison guard charged with sex acts with inmates BOB EGELKO, Associated Press Writer Thursday, February 18, 1999
(02-18) 18:09 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A guard has been charged with 17 counts of sexual conduct with female inmates at the federal prison in nearby Dublin, which has been hit by repeated accusations of sexual abuse.
Jon C. Hyson, 38, of San Jose, a former guard at the Federal Correctional Institution, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on 16 charges of sexual contact and another charge of attempted sexual contact, all misdemeanors. He was also charged with five felonies: lying to federal agents about sexual acts and other conduct.
In a separate case last March, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons agreed to pay $500,000 to three women at the same prison who said guards put them in a men's prison unit in 1995 and arranged for male prisoners to rape them.
Prison officials did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in that case but agreed to strengthen rules against sexual assault and harassment at all federal prisons and increase medical and psychiatric care for victims.
No one was prosecuted or forced to resign, Geri Lynn Green, a lawyer for the three women, said Thursday. Though Hyson was not involved in the case, she said his prosecution was a sign that ``the U.S. attorney's office is finally taking the matter of sexual abuse at Dublin seriously enough to file charges.''
Carleen Arlidge, Hyson's lawyer, said she was ``surprised and disappointed'' that the federal prosecutor's office had announced the charges in a news release.
Noting that an indictment did not prove guilt, she said, ``We look forward to addressing the charges in court.''
Two other Dublin prison employees have been prosecuted for sexual conduct with female inmates in the last two years, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Jacobs. He said a trade instructor was sentenced to five months in jail and five months of home detention in 1997 for six counts of consensual sex, and a male guard got 18 months' probation last October for one count of oral sex.
Hyson's indictment, released Thursday by U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller's office, said the illegal sexual conduct occurred at the prison and an adjoining prison camp on different occasions between last April and December.
The indictment specified only two sex acts, intentionally touching a prisoner's breast, and did not describe the others. The charges are only misdemeanors, punishable by six months or a year in jail, because no forcible acts were alleged.
One of the felony charges, punishable by up to five years in prison, involves Hyson's questioning by FBI agents in February 1994.
He is accused of lying when he denied having sexual contact with any prisoner; denied being alone in a room with two female prisoners in September 1992, and denied asking them to perform sex acts with each other. The grand jury said Hyson received oral sex from a female prisoner in about September 1992; he was not charged with a separate crime for that, however, as the legal deadline has expired.
Mueller's news release did not say why Hyson was not charged after his 1994 interrogation or why the investigation was apparently reopened last year.
Hyson was also accused of lying last December, to an agent of the Justice Department's Inspector General, by denying sexual acts with several inmates and denying that he had brought ``any contraband ... like perfume, makeup or hair dye'' to a particular prisoner.
Arlidge, Hyson's lawyer, declined to say how long Hyson worked for the Bureau of Prisons or give any other information about him. Dominic Gutierrez, executive assistant to the prison warden, said he could not release any information except Hyson's salary range as a senior officer specialist, $34,900 to $44,000 a year.
``We do take a zero tolerance on any type of abuse of inmates,'' Gutierrez said.
February 18, 1999, NYTimes
100 Abuse Claims Filed at Jail Before Death
By DAVID M. HALBFINGER
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- In the eight years before Thomas Pizzuto was fatally beaten while serving a 90-day sentence at the Nassau County jail, more than 100 inmates filed notices of claims telling horrifying tales of abuse at the hands of guards there, according to documents obtained from county lawyers.
But officials have refused to disclose the amounts the county has paid out to inmates as damage awards or legal settlements.
Since Pizzuto died on Jan. 13, many former inmates have come forward with accounts of beatings by guards, and Federal prosecutors have opened a broad investigation into possible civil rights violations there. The Federal Government has also taken over the criminal investigation into Pizzuto's death.
But jail officials and leaders of the correction officers' union have denied that abuse was commonplace at the jail.
In a way, the new documents, which were obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Law, support both arguments. They show that, long before the publicity surrounding Pizzuto's death, similar stories were frequently being recounted by inmates -- often, according to inmates and their lawyers, despite the perception that they would be punished merely for making the complaint.
But Deputy Undersheriff Ernest C. Weber said that the 106 claims filed from 1991 to 1998 represented only about 1 in 1,000 inmates who passed through the jail during that time.
Still, the 106 notices do not represent all allegations against the jail. Such a notice must be filed by an inmate within 90 days of an attack for the inmate to be able to sue, up to a year later, in state court.
Federal lawsuits do not require such preliminary filings, and many inmates sue under Federal civil rights statutes, which experts say are more favorable to plaintiffs and which allow successful plaintiffs to recover their legal fees. Moreover, it is not clear that every notice of claim filed against the Nassau jail led to a lawsuit in any court.
The Nassau County Attorney, Owen Walsh, also provided the names of more than 150 inmates who had filed lawsuits since 1994 over incidents at the county jail, including allegations of abuse, medical malpractice, and of guards allowing inmates to be assaulted by other prisoners. But Walsh gave no indication of whether they were still pending or how they had been resolved.
And some cases were inexplicably absent from the list, such as that of Thomas Donovan Jr., a retarded man who sued in 1996, saying he had been beaten by a guard wielding a frying pan. His Federal civil rights trial against the county is set to begin Thursday. .
Many other inmates who say they have been assaulted by guards never make it to filing a notice of claim, let alone a lawsuit. Some lodge their complaints through the jail's Internal Affairs Unit or directly with prosecutors. But many others are discouraged from ever complaining anywhere.
Matthew Muraskin, president of the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which represents indigent criminal defendants, said that his lawyers warn clients who say they were beaten by jail guards of possible retribution if they formally complain.
"We sit them down and tell them what might happen," he said. "An assault charge might be laid against you, claiming that the inmate actually beat the guard up. Then it's your word against the correction officer's word. And it's another felony. And your plea negotiations might be adversely impacted upon, because you're not cooperating, you're making a complaint. Besides, you've already been beaten up, so you know that there might be more intimidation and retribution inside the jail."
In fact, among the 106 notices are several that describe such retribution. Henry Jackson filed a complaint in 1997, naming three guards whom he said had kicked and punched him in the stomach while he was recovering from abdominal surgery. Once it was clear he needed medical attention, Jackson said, the guards conspired to charge him with assaulting them.
A grand jury considered the charges, but another inmate, Christopher Barnes, came forward, and Jackson was not indicted. Barnes said that he himself later had his nose broken by one of the same guards who had attacked Jackson. Neither Barnes nor Jackson has yet filed a lawsuit.
Undersheriff Weber, who oversees day-to-day operations at the jail, said that when allegations of abuse were made only in notices of claims, not through inmate grievance procedures, they are examined by defense lawyers for the jail, not by internal affairs officers. If any wrongdoing is uncovered, an internal affairs inquiry should begin, he said, but that has never happened.
Also included in the 106 claims notices are three in which Joseph Bergen, now a corporal, is accused of assault. Bergen's lawyer, Louis Agresta, has said that Bergen was one of four guards placed on restricted duty at the jail in connection with the investigation into the attack on Pizzuto. Agresta could not be reached today.
March 8, 1999
When Cops Are Killers
See below for background and related information.
"Justice for Amadou Diallo!" has been the rallying cry throughout New York since four police officers gunned down the unarmed, 22-year-old West African immigrant as he stood outside his Bronx apartment on February 4. Members of an elite street crimes unit, the officers were reportedly in search of a rape suspect whose profile Diallo resembled in the most generic sense: eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth, male, black, young. What prompted the officers to leave their cars and close in on Diallo with guns drawn remains a mystery, because they have yet to tell their story. What is known is that the officers fired forty-one shots--more than two-thirds the number unloaded by the entire street-crimes unit in 1998--and hit Diallo nineteen times.
Forty-one rounds to kill a devout Muslim who worked twelve-hour days selling CDs, tapes and videos to earn money to finish a bachelor's degree is made-for-TV news. But this is not a singular atrocity. Police brutality in New York is routine. From July 1993 to June 1997, complaints against the police rose 45 percent and monetary settlements by the city increased 38 percent. In 1996 Amnesty International investigated more than ninety allegations of NYPD misconduct dating from the late eighties to early 1996. Its report found that the root of the problem was not "rogue" cops but the police culture--with its aggressive tactics that disproportionately target racial minorities, its unaccountability and its code of silence.
In the two weeks following Diallo's killing, 1,000 people rallied outside his apartment; 1,200 rallied outside Manhattan's federal courthouse; and a five-car-wide, six-block-deep motorcade escorted Diallo's bullet-riddled body to Newark Airport for the return flight to Guinea--all actions organized by Al Sharpton's National Action Network. The day of Amadou's funeral, the group staged another demonstration outside the Bronx courthouse where a grand jury has begun hearing evidence against the officers of criminal wrongdoing. Calvin Butts 3d, head pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, held an interfaith memorial service for Diallo that attracted 2,000. Butts is also participating in the ad hoc Citywide Coalition for Justice called together by writer Jill Nelson; it named February 22 a Day of Outrage and Mass Action, culminating at City Hall. And "hip hop minister" Conrad Muhammad, head of a Movement for CHHANGE, is planning a mass youth protest in March that he hopes will attract 41,000 young people to symbolize the forty-one shots that brought down their peer.
Once this first flush of outrage cools, however, the TV cameras will disappear, reporters will chase other controversies and city officials will ease into business as usual if activists don't persist in the unglamorous work of keeping the pressure on and the case high profile. "The first two or three [mass demonstrations] tend to be big," says Van Jones, executive director of the San Francisco-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a k a the Bay Area PoliceWatch. This "symbology of outrage," as he calls it, can be an Achilles' heel for activists, generating "a thousand headlines and no victory." "Symbology is great," he says. "It raises consciousness. But it doesn't affect the outcome if people are not allowed to bring their power to bear on the individual who can get them what they want." He counsels New York activists that a serious, organized campaign could take two years to achieve their quest for justice.
In 1997 Jones and his organization completed a successful two-year campaign to get rid of Marc Andaya, an officer in the San Francisco Police Department with a long record of brutalizing Bay Area citizens, including fatally shooting an unarmed black man and beating and pepper-spraying another to death. As in the Diallo case, PoliceWatch issued a blanket call for "justice" but then made the demand more concrete: Fire Marc Andaya. This allowed them to specify targets--Mayor Willie Brown and his Police Commission--and to bring ordinary citizens into the organizing, at whatever level they felt most comfortable. The mayor's "got a name, and a house, and a car, and an office, and a fax number, and a phone number, and e-mail," says Jones. The success in the Andaya case laid the foundation for a grassroots movement, with PoliceWatch not only launching more campaigns in individual cases but also targeting policy issues, such as the SFPD's use of pepper spray.
In New York there have already been demands for Bronx DA Robert Johnson to prosecute the officers who killed Amadou Diallo. But the four are part of a larger street-crimes unit whose motto is "We Own the Night." Police Commissioner Howard Safir has announced that the entire 400-member squad will now receive "retraining." No real change is possible, though, without addressing systemic questions: the fact that police officers are not required to live in the neighborhoods they patrol, the we-own-the-night attitude of the street-crimes unit, the police commissioner under whose watch it operates, the toothless civilian review board and the mayor's "zero tolerance" policy, which translates into zero accountability for the nation's largest police force.
Currently there is a fear that activists will break into camps--Sharpton, Butts, Muhammad--with an ensuing media game of warring egos and supporters used as pawns. "The coalition that takes the lead is the coalition that has the confidence of the family," notes Jones. At the moment, that seems to be the National Action Network. Diallo's parents spoke at Sharpton's weekly Saturday rally and live radio broadcast, and Sharpton joined them in escorting Amadou's body back to Guinea.
All the various groups have pledged to support one another, but organizing meetings and direct actions have been scheduled at conflicting times, splitting support and confusing reporters who cover the protests. Yet lack of a united front does not have to mean paralysis. "It may seem counterintuitive," says Jones, "but sometimes it's better to have more than one coalition. If justice is not served, it won't be because there are too many coalitions but because there were too few. Some people can't work together, but they need to work.
DECEMBER 05, 05:59 EST
NJ Trooper of the Year Indicted
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A grand jury has indicted the 1997 Trooper of the Year on charges he took bribes from motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Francis M. Burke, 30, was indicted Friday on charges of official misconduct, two counts of bribery and two counts of receiving gifts as a public servant. He also was suspended without pay.
Burke is accused of pocketing $110 from two motorists who were driving with revoked licenses, Burke's lawyer, Robert Galantucci said.
Galantucci said his client had not seen the indictment and had no comment. Burke faces up to five years in prison and $75,000 in fines if convicted.
Burke won the Trooper of the Year award for making more arrests than any other trooper in a year.
DECEMBER 05, 01:07 EST
43 Charged in Jail Drug Network
By RACHEL LA CORTE
Associated Press Writer
MIAMI (AP) - Thirteen corrections officers are accused of looking the other way or even assisting in a ring that smuggled drugs and other contraband into jails in exchange for cash, car repairs and more.
An investigation into Miami-Dade County jails ended in the arrests of 43 people on charges of operating a drug-dealing and black market operation led by a jailed dealer.
The probe focused on the Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center and the Turner-Guilford Knight Correctional Center, a 1,000-bed pretrial facility, said state attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle.
The U.S. attorney's office unsealed an indictment Friday charging 26 people, including Eduardo Manzano, the alleged leader of a cocaine and marijuana distribution organization. Manzano was jailed in July 1997, but continued to run his drug organization from behind bars, according to the indictment.
Seventeen more people have been arrested and will be indicted during the next few weeks, said Don Ungurait, spokesman for the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office.
Corrections officers were charged with taking bribes to smuggle in phones, drugs, food and clothing for inmates in exchange for items or favors including money, jewelry, car repairs and sporting equipment.
Officer punished for sex with prostitute
By LEANORA MINAI
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 24, 1999
ST. PETERSBURG -- Gina Felosi met St. Petersburg police Officer Stephen Ober when he wrote her a ticket for driving with a suspended license.
The next time she saw him, Felosi told investigators, Ober paid her $40 for sex in the back seat of a running cruiser.
"It was about five minutes, if that," Felosi told St. Petersburg Detective Lori Scott in September, when an internal affairs investigation began.
Following the three-month inquiry, police Chief Goliath Davis III on Wednesday suspended Ober for 45 days.
While detectives concluded Ober, 32, had sex with the prostitute, they said there was "insufficient evidence" to prove he paid Felosi.
Investigators said Ober gave conflicting statements to internal affairs detectives and that eventually, he told them he wanted "to clear the whole thing up."
A letter from a female jail inmate prompted the investigation into accusations that Ober and two other St. Petersburg patrol officers had sex with Felosi.
Officer David Crawford, 34, was suspended for 15 days for "inappropriate conduct" with Felosi.
Investigators could not prove or disprove allegations Officer Owen Dietz, 37, had sex with Felosi. He was not disciplined.
Over the summer, a vice and narcotics detective received a letter from an inmate who shared a cell with Felosi. She wrote that Felosi told her she was having sex with officers.
Detectives Paul Cooke and Mike Celona interviewed Felosi, who told police she was a prostitute and had had sex with officers on and off duty.
Two weeks after Ober wrote her a Jan. 31, 1997, traffic ticket, he picked her up along 34th Street and paid her two $20 bills after they had sex in his cruiser, Felosi told investigators.
"He took off his gunbelt and pulled down his pants," she said, according to police records.
Beginning in January 1997, Felosi said, Ober visited her at the El Patio motel in St. Petersburg three times a week for 10 months, a claim Ober denies.
Felosi also told investigators that on one occasion, he paid her $130 for sex, another accusation Ober denies.
Ober, who patrols District I and has been with the department five years, told investigators he was intimate only once with Felosi.
"I only had sex with her one time at my house, never gave her money and I never had sex on duty," Ober told investigators. "Never had sex with her after that. That is the God honest truth."
Police administrators also determined Crawford, a 14-year veteran, had an intimate relationship with Felosi.
According to investigators, Felosi and Crawford hugged, kissed and fondled each other more than once while Crawford was on duty.
01:21 AM ET 02/16/99
NYC Cop Faces Murder Trial
By LARRY McSHANE=
AP National Writer=
NEW YORK (AP) _ It was no surprise when Hessy Phelan died too young, a police officer's bullet in his head. He had once belonged to a violent Irish Republican Army splinter group. Arrests for rioting and hijacking landed him in Northern Ireland's jails for most of a decade. But Phelan, 39, did not die a martyr; he did not even die in his beloved homeland. Nine years after fleeing the ``Troubles,'' a drunken Hessy Phelan was killed by an off-duty New York City cop, authorities charge _ shot point-blank in the face, Jan. 21, 1996. The cop tells a different tale: The 5-foot, 100-pound Irishman killed himself after a day-long drinking binge. Officer Richard Molloy says the tiny, drunken man snatched his gun and committed suicide. On Feb. 22, three years after the bullet from his .38 caliber weapon killed Hessy Phelan, Molloy goes on trial for murder. He says he fears the verdict might be moot, believing the dead man's IRA pals plan their own justice. Phelan's family and friends call Molloy a liar. The happy-go-lucky Phelan was not suicidal, they say, but planning a reunion with an old roommate. And it was no surprise, they charge, that Molloy wound up killing an innocent man. Molloy, a second-generation cop assigned to the Bronx, amassed 74 commendations and more than 400 arrests over an 11-year career. But there were allegations of brutality and two lawsuits against him, including a pending $18 million assault case. ``I'd been hearing about Molloy in the neighborhood,'' recalls Graham Friel, co-owner of the Oak Bar in Bainbridge, a heavily Irish enclave in the Bronx, where Phelan downed his last drink. ``A lot more came to light after the (Phelan) shooting.'' The elfin Phelan was ``very much a local character,'' says New York attorney Martin Galvin, a veteran supporter of republican causes. ``He was involved in supporting political prisoners.'' No surprise there: Phelan was once among their ranks. Patrick Heslin Phelan grew up one of five children in Londonderry, a militant IRA outpost and the site of 1972's ``Bloody Sunday'' massacre. Like many other locals, he embraced the often-violent cause of Irish nationalism, joining the Irish National Liberation Army. A botched car-jacking in 1977 nearly killed him; Phelan dodged bullets as a cohort died on a Londonderry street. Over the next 10 years, Phelan was in and out of British jails, once attempting escape by squeezing his diminutive frame inside a prison pool table. He grew tight with the IRA brethren during their time behind bars. Released in 1987, Phelan moved to the United States and lived with his sister in Connecticut before relocating to the Bronx. ``He was here one week and he said, `I'm not going back to 'Derry,''' recalls his sister, Martina Boback, her voice choked with emotion. ``There was no way he was getting involved with the `Troubles' again.'' Phelan took a job as a house painter and started anew. ``He didn't talk much about the past,'' says his roommate of five years, Brian Brolly. ``He just got on with his life.'' Phelan's supporters don't paint him as a saint; he liked his liquor a bit too much, and a few drinks turned his tongue sharp. But they can't imagine what words could have caused his death that night at the Oak Bar. Molloy's girlfriend, barmaid Maggie McGrath, had grown tired of Phelan's drunken prattle. She asked Molloy to toss Phelan out, and the cop steered him into McGrath's nearby apartment. The three had a history: McGrath had previously dated a Phelan pal named Barney Logue, taking up with Molloy after Logue's death. Phelan did not look kindly on her new relationship. According to Molloy, the drunken Phelan began throwing up in McGrath's apartment _ and yet, at some point, was still able to steal the cop's gun. Phelan jammed the weapon against his left eye and fired, Molloy said, telling investigators that it was a suicide. But the medical examiner determined the bullet's angle made the officer's version improbable. A different scenario now surfaced: Phelan taunting Molloy until the infuriated cop, bent on shutting him up, fired a single gunshot. The new story gained believers after a third man in the apartment, Cormac Lee, spoke with authorities. Lee said he walked in from the kitchen to see Phelan dying and Molloy's hand returning from the back of his pants. It appeared, Lee said, that Molloy had just returned his weapon to his waistband. ``You saw nothing,'' Molloy allegedly announced. Defense attorney George Vallario dismisses the autopsy and Lee's tale, claiming the prosecution is being driven by pressure from Phelan's family and the local Irish community. ``What is Richie's reason for killing this guy?'' Vallario asks. ``He had nothing against this guy. Hessy Phelan was just a poor soul.'' Others disagree. ``You think a little drunken man can take a gun off a big sober cop?'' bar-owner Friel asks. ``That's what swayed me.'' The evidence that could have quickly cleared Molloy was botched by police: Phelan's hands were never bagged and checked for gunpowder residue, Vallario says. And the lawyer insists stories of Phelan's good spirits are exaggerated. Phelan was depressed by the recent deaths of his father, uncle and best friend and was resigned to a life away from Ireland, the lawyer says. He was drinking heavily. In the end, Phelan's death caused many involved to revisit the ``Troubles'' that he'd so eagerly left behind. The initial suicide ruling, coupled with a nine-month delay in the indictment, conjured up parallels to British injustices. ``There are cases where people get shot by British troopers and some sort of whitewash goes on,'' Galvin explained. ``For the family and for the Irish community here, that was deeply felt.'' Preliminary hearings were held in a courtroom divided; the hatred inside was palpable, Vallario says. Phelan's mother twice made the trip from Ireland, and other friends and relatives stared down Molloy and his backers. Vallario insists the IRA threats are real, that Molloy has already been the target of vandalism and hang-up phone calls. Married to Maggie McGrath last year, Molloy now has more to lose: the couple had a son in January. ``That's our biggest fear,'' the lawyer said. ``These are not playboys. These guys mean business.'' Brolly, Phelan's old roommate, abandoned the Bronx for sunny Florida. ;;One day after receiving word of Hessy's death, he received something else _ a letter from Phelan, mailed several days earlier. ``It was all about how he was looking forward to my coming out to stay with him,'' Brolly recalls. ``The very next day it came. The next day. Reading this letter, it was weird. ``He didn't sound suicidal to me.''
* News Release Issued by the International
Secretariat of Amnesty International *
25 FEBRUARY 1999
From Alabama to Wyoming: 50 counts of double standards -- the missing entries in the US report on human rights
On 25 February, the US State Department will publish its annual report on human rights, addressing the unjustified killing or ill-treatment of people by police and other security forces in some 190 countries -- similar incidents in New York, Illinois or California, however, will not be granted a mention.
"One could very well say that this year, like every other, there will be 50 entries missing from the State Department report: from Alabama to Wyoming," Amnesty International said, deploring the USA's hypocritical stance at not recognizing the extent to which human rights abuses are going unchecked in its own territory.
"The US government has a selective approach to human rights -- using international human rights standards as a yardstick by which to judge other countries, but consistently failing to apply those same standards at home."
"Furthermore, US government policies often lead to human rights being sacrificed for political, economic and military interests, both in US territory and abroad," the organization continued. "By providing weapons, security equipment and training to other countries, the USA is responsible for the same abuses it denounces in its State Department report."
According to Amnesty International, when it comes to human rights, the USA discriminates against countries and victims.
"The US government often criticizes countries it considers hostile, while ignoring abuses committed by its allies or failing to take action that would run counter to US interests. When it comes to victims, human rights violations committed in US territory are not even admitted as such."
Human rights violations in the USA are serious and persistent. Just in the past year, Amnesty International recorded regular reports of torture and ill-treatment including:
-the death of a prisoner after being strapped for hours to a restraint board;
-allegations of immigration detainees being beaten and tortured with electro-shock shields while held in four-point restraint;
-the use of the remote control electro-shock stun belt in trials and prisoner transportation in well over 100 jurisdictions, including Louisiana, where stun belts have been used on low security HIV/AIDS inmates.
In US prisons and jails, physical and sexual abuse are endemic, and repressive control methods -- like electro-shock weapons or prolonged use of restraint chairs -- are increasingly being used.
Inquiries into police brutality in some jurisdictions in the last decade -- including Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC -- show a pattern of systematic abuses.
The US Justice Department receives thousands of complaints every year, which many regard as just the tip of an iceberg. Those whose rights have been violated often receive financial compensation in out of court settlements -- which effectively means the taxpayer is paying for authorities' right to abuse their power with impunity.
The USA is failing to meet even the minimum international standards regarding the use of the death penalty. Also, by executing ever increasing numbers of people, the country it is out of step with the international trend towards abolition.
International human rights standards demand the highest legal safeguards for all capital trials, seek to restrict the scope of the death penalty, see it as unacceptable punishment for the mentally ill, and forbid its use against juvenile offenders. Not only does the USA fail on all these counts, but early this month, the execution of Sean Sellers for crimes committed when he was a 16-year-old boy confirmed the USA as the world's leading executioner of child offenders.
Use of the death penalty in the USA has consistently shown to be racist and, as the authorities attempt to speed up the time between sentence and execution, the risk of killing the innocent is constantly increasing.
In terms of the treatment of asylum seekers, people seeking refuge in the USA from persecution in their own countries are increasingly locked up in detention and effectively treated like criminals.
"While the US State Department report on human rights serves a good purpose in reminding the international community of the need to remain vigilant about human rights protection, the USA itself should not be immune from international scrutiny," Amnesty International said. "Victims of human rights abuses in the USA have the right not to be discriminated against. By failing to take a close look at home, the USA is doing just that," Amnesty International said.
"In addition to looking at the state of human rights abroad, it is high time for the USA to recognize this situation and put an end to it. "
Amnesty International's on-going campaign on human rights in the USA was launched in October 1998. As part of the campaign, Amnesty International has been calling for the US to adopt and rigorously enforce a binding code of conduct, based on human rights, covering all transfers of military, security and police equipment, services and expertise.
Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom
Ex-Deputy Charged With Sex In Jail
Male guard in women's unit could get 6 1/2 years
Julie N. Lynem, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, March 26, 1999
©1999 San Francisco Chronicle
The San Mateo County district attorney's office charged a former sheriff's deputy yesterday with having sex with an inmate and bringing alcohol into the women's jail, after a monthlong investigation.
Willard Kelley, 56, had a sexual encounter with the 32-year-old woman on the morning of February 4 at the Women's Correctional Center in Redwood City, authorities said. A 28-year veteran, Kelley resigned in lieu of termination last month after allegations of misconduct surfaced.
The district attorney's office charged Kelley, who was on duty at the time of the encounter, with two felony counts and one misdemeanor.
The felony charges allege Kelley brought alcohol into the jail and allowed an inmate to perform oral sex on him. The misdemeanor alleges that he engaged in consensual sex with an inmate.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to prison for as long as 6 1/2 years.
``We're certain that this is an isolated incident,'' said Undersheriff Greg Munks. ``This is an extremely unusual occurrence. We haven't had something like this in 10 years.''
Kelley's attorney, Joshua Bentley, said yesterday that he will reserve his comments for the courtroom. He did say that he and Kelley were working out the terms of Kelley's surrender to authorities.
The woman, who was in custody on theft and credit card fraud charges, had also attempted an escape on January 7. She has been moved to jail in Alameda County the request of her attorney, who did not return calls yesterday.
Sheriff's detectives found out about the February 4 incident after the woman scaled a 12-foot fence and escaped from the center, Munks said.
The same day, the woman was apprehended in San Mateo. During a meeting with investigators, the inmate said Kelley had sexually assaulted her in her cell on February 4. She also said Kelley had taken her outside to one of the center's enclosed recreation areas for a cigarette shortly before 4 a.m. on February 14.
``There are conflicting accounts,'' Munks said. ``He claims she came on to him. She claims that he initiated it and came to her door.''
No inmates or other deputies said they knew anything about the February 4 incident, which took place during Kelley's 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift.
Munks said the sexual encounter happened behind the cell door and would not have been easily seen by other inmates. At the time, two other deputies were on duty but were working in different parts of the facility.
However, during interviews with Kelley and the woman, investigators concluded that a sexual incident had indeed taken place. From the beginning, Munks said, sheriff's detectives were suspicious about the circumstances of the woman's escape.
``There were some red flags,'' he said.
There also was a cup filled with bourbon that investigators found inside the woman's cell, which led authorities to believe that Kelley had been there that morning, Munks said. Although Kelley took and passed a polygraph test, he later admitted having sex with the woman and throwing a bottle of alcohol away.
Sheriff's officials said yesterday that they were disappointed that a deputy had broken the law and violated department procedures. But Munks said most officers obey the rules. At the Women's Correctional Center, 20 deputies -- half of them male -- guard female inmates, Munks said.
One female deputy is always is on duty in case an inmate needs to be strip-searched, he said.
Karen Shain, administrative director of Legal Services for Prisoners With Children, said such an arrangement is not nearly sufficient. Although sexual relations between guards and inmates is not something that happens every day, having large numbers of male guards around females in custody can spell trouble.
APRIL 07, 10:41 EDT
Feds Arrest 2 Conn. Cops
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Federal agents arrested two city police officers today, and additional arrests were possible, a police official said.
The charges against officers Jesus Rivera and Michael Basile were not available because the warrants were sealed, said Sgt. Stephen Adams, the police department's executive officer on duty this morning.
However, a federal grand jury has been investigating alleged corruption in the department, including allegations that officers pressured prostitutes into providing sexual favors.
``If the allegations, in fact, are true, then it's very regrettable,'' said Sgt. Michael Wood, president of the Hartford Police Union. ``I've known both of the officers involved to be very dedicated professionals.''
FBI representatives did not return calls, and a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office said she could not immediately comment.
More than 20 police officers have been ordered to appear before a grand jury convened last fall, The Hartford Courant has reported.
Investigators also reportedly have been looking into whether several officers were involved in two unrelated, unsolved slayings.
Prison doctor arrested
By Daryl Farnsworth <> The Fresno Bee
(Published April 10, 1999)
A 65-year-old state prison psychiatrist from Chowchilla was arrested at a Modesto motel, accused of raping an unconscious woman, police reported Friday. Dr. Mayna Meah Choudry used drugs to make the woman lose consciousness, then sexually assaulted and beat his 39-year-old victim, police allege. The victim told police that when she regained consciousness Thursday morning, she was bruised and bleeding, and she knew she had been sexually assaulted. She was later treated at a hospital and released. Choudry, who works at the Women's Correctional Facility in Chowchilla, was arrested Thursday at the Holiday Inn on Sisk Road. He was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on a felony charge of rape. Specifically, he is accused of drugging his victim so she could not resist. Choudry also was charged with false imprisonment and violating the woman with a foreign object. He was being held Friday in lieu of $52,000 bail, jailers said. Detective Lt. Skip McKune said Choudry knew the woman and had picked her up several days ago near Reno, Nev., where she lives. He agreed to pay her $1,000 a day if she would accompany him to California and help him celebrate his 65th birthday. McKune said the woman told officers that she and Choudry had gotten into a fight. She told police she left the motel room after learning that she had been assaulted, and when she returned to get her belongings, Choudry would not let her in the room. Officers arrived and asked Choudry to return the woman's property, but he refused. "He Choudry told the officers they would have to get a search warrant," McKune said. Then the woman told officers that Choudry had drugged and raped her the night before. Police got a warrant and searched Choudry's room and suitcases. McKune would not elaborate on his statement that officers found incriminating evidence. No weapons were found.
Prison guard admits sex acts with inmates
Monday, April 12, 1999
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A former federal prison guard pleaded guilty Monday to sex acts with three female inmates, the fourth such case at the same prison in the last two years, federal prosecutors said. Donnell Hawthorne, 38, admitted engaging in sexual acts with prisoners on five occasions between late 1994 and February 1997 at the Federal Correctional Institution and an adjoining prison camp in nearby Dublin. He also admitted lying to the FBI in February 1994 when he denied having sexual contact with an inmate at an earlier time, asking an inmate to take off her clothes and asking two female inmates to perform sex acts in front of him, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Sex acts with prisoners are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in prison. Lying to federal officers is a felony punishable by five years. Hawthorne, who entered a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office, is scheduled to be sentenced July 12 by U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken. Another former Dublin guard, Jon C. Hyson, was charged in February with 16 counts of sexual contact with prisoners and one count of attempted sexual contact. He was also charged with lying to the FBI in February 1994, an allegation virtually identical to the charge against Hawthorne: falsely denying that he had had sexual contact with an inmate, had been alone in a room with two female prisoners and had asked them to perform sex acts with each other. The charges against Hyson are still pending. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Jacobs said the two cases were unrelated. Jacobs said two other Dublin prison employees have been prosecuted for sexual conduct with female inmates in the last two years: a trade instructor sentenced to five months in jail and five months of home detention in 1997 for six counts of consensual sex, and a male guard who got 18 months' probation last October for one count of oral sex. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons agreed in March 1998 to pay $500,000 in a settlement with three female prisoners at Dublin, who said guards put them in a men's prison unit in 1995 and arranged for male prisoners to rape them. No one was prosecuted in that case, and prison officials did not acknowledge any wrongdoing. But the Bureau of Prisons agreed to strengthen rules against sexual assault and harassment at all federal prisons and improve medical and psychiatric care for victims.
PAGE 12 - Prosecutors//WIN AT ALL COSTS