Correctional officer arrested, accused of sexually assaulting inmate at women's facility

Officials announced Wednesday the arrest of a correctional police officer on charges that he sexually assaulted an inmate at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women.

 Senior Correctional Police Officer Tyrell Harris-McLaughlin, 28, was arrested on sexual assault and official misconduct charges. 

The charges were filed during an investigation by the Attorney General's Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office. The investigation was conducted with the help of the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division. 

A complaint-warrant filed Wednesday against Harris-McLaughlin alleges that on Sept. 16, he sexually assaulted a female inmate. Authorities say his status as a senior correctional police officer gave him supervisory or disciplinary power by virtue over the victim. The alleged assault involved vaginal penetration and ejaculation.

 "We are committed to holding accountable correctional officers who abuse their power and inflict harm on inmates," said Acting Attorney General Bruck. "I thank the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, Office of Public Integrity & Accountability, and DOC Special Investigations Division for acting so quickly to investigate and bring criminal charges in this matter." 

"Anyone in custody is entitled to be free from sexual or other assaults," said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. "When law enforcement officers assault and exploit those subject to their authority, as alleged here, we will ensure that they are fully investigated and prosecuted."

If convicted, Harris-McLaughlin faces up 5-to-10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.



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