Donate

Three Brooklyn Federal Prison Guards Arrested On Charges Of Raping, Sexually Abusing Inmates

Federal agents have arrested three guards from Brooklyn's federal jail on charges that they raped and sexually abused several female inmates.

Prosecutors announced the indictment today of Carlos Martinez and Eugenio Perez, both lieutenants at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, as well as Armando Moronta, a correction officer at the facility. Moronta was out on bail after being arrested in January for allegedly smuggling synthetic weed, iPhones, and painkillers into the jail. Perez and Martinez were not only supervisors, but were charged with instructing staff about preventing sexual abuse in accordance with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.

In 2015, Martinez allegedly posted a photo to Facebook of himself posing with other guards at a bar and the caption, "It’s only PREA when you don’t like it."

Martinez faces 20 felony counts of sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, and civil rights violations related to his alleged serial rape of an inmate over the course of several months. Martinez, in his late 40s, allegedly first made sexual remarks to his victim, a Spanish-speaking inmate in her 20s, when she was cleaning the lieutenants' office with other inmates in November 2015. The following month, as she was preparing to clean the office, he allegedly grabbed her and raped her. Before she left, he said that if anyone found out, she would serve additional prison time.

Martinez allegedly continued to rape the woman periodically until the following February, when he learned that she had mentioned his name in a phone call, and threatened her again before ceasing her cleaning assignment. In April 2016, near the woman's release date, he allegedly raped her one last time and ejaculated on her back, saying he did it in case immigration officials gave her a medical exam. Martinez faces up to life in prison if convicted on the most serious count.

Perez's modus operandi was allegedly similar. Prosecutors say that he coerced or tried to coerce five female inmates into sex acts, typically starting by giving them cleaning assignments in isolated places. On September 2nd, 2016, he allegedly forced two women into a bathroom and forced them both to fellate him. He allegedly tried to anally rape a third woman, who the feds say was the repeat target of his abuse.

Perez too faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Moronta, suspended by the Bureau of Prisons for his January corruption arrest, is now accused of demanding that three different women perform oral sex on him on several occasions in 2016. He faces four sex abuse counts that each carry up to 15 years in prison.

Moronta isn't the only one who has run afoul of the law recently. Martinez was arrested on the morning of April 7th, 2016 on assault charges after prosecutors say he cut off a woman on the FDR Drive in Midtown, then followed her until she stopped in traffic, got out, smashed her window, and punched her in the face. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and received a conditional discharge.

The men are being arraigned this afternoon in Brooklyn federal court. Prosecutors want them all denied bail. Attorney information for the men was not immediately available.

The MDC is a mostly pretrial detention facility off of Third Avenue near the harbor that houses about 1,800 inmates, men and women. Its last Prison Rape Elimination Act audit in 2014 found that the jail meets all standards for rape prevention.

Featured in News