Today’s Investigative Special Report – February 8, 2013 “Dealing With Todays Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “When Law Enforcement Crosses The Line And Has Sex With Inmates”

By Lawrence W. Daily MSc
Forensic Investigator
In finding equality amongst those in society who want to work in the law enforcement and correctional professions the opportunity for sexual misconduct has become a major problem. It seems the broader the equality in the criminal justice system the more problems become apparent.
In the New York Magazine there is a story about a guard who gets pregnant by a cop killer. According to the article, a female corrections officer in Brooklyn was charged today with sexual abuse of an inmate for having inappropriate relations with a convicted murderer.

The criminal complaint alleges that Nancy Gonzalez, the guard, is now eight months pregnant with the child of inmate Ronell Wilson. Wilson killed two undercover police officers in 2003 and was sentenced to death. Further, the sex acts occurred in front of other inmates for over four months.
The story is to be aired on Lifetime in the near future. Wilson who was granted a new trial because he is alleged to be mentally retarded allegedly can’t receive a death sentence. Gonzalez stated, “I took a chance because I was so vulnerable and wanted to be loved and now I am carrying his child.”

Is the Gonzalez and Wilson an isolated incident or is this more common than society is being told about? There are many situations which have been discovered because either the inmate becomes pregnant or the guard becomes pregnant. Some of the time the guard who is forcing the inmate to have sex is apprehend as the inmate will tell another guard or person about the forced sex and law enforcement performs an undercover operation and apprehends the guard.

In Togo, Minnesota a correctional guard, James Allen Bongaarts’, 56, was arraigned in court on December 3, 2012 for having sex with an inmate. According to the criminal complaint, Bongaarts’ is charged with several Criminal Sexual Conducts and was released on $50,000 bail. The criminal charges stem from allegations that Bongaarts’ had sex or tried having sex with a female inmate over the last two months at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Togo.

At the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority correctional officer William Roy Wilson of Beckley, Virginia was being held in an isolation cell on $75,000.00 bond. According to spokeswoman Ashley Bennett an inmate brought the allegations against Wilson to authorities. An internal investigation took place and the case was turned over to West Virginia State Police.

A correctional officer with the Baker County Sheriff’s Office of Baker County, Florida was charged with having sex with a female inmate. Correctional officer Tarrece Givens, 27, was on duty. He has worked at the Center since September, 2011.

In New Castle, Delaware, the Delaware State Police stated that correctional officer Larry R. Clinkscale, 40 years old was arrested. According to Delaware State Police stated that Clinkscale allegedly had sexual relations with a 23 year old female inmate. According to the inmate Clinkscale propositioned her when she was assigned to clean the floor to have sex with him in a nearby closet.
The problem of correctional officers having sex with inmates does not just exist in the correctional profession. The sexual contact between inmates and law enforcement officers is a problem as well. When an individual is put in the position of authority where they have control over another person’s freedom and they can restrict, manipulate, abuse, assault, attack, molest, rape, and etc. that person, it is a crime.

These are just some of the reasons correctional officers and law enforcement officials have the opportunity to sexually assault inmates. These problems can be eliminated if the hierarchical set in place specific safeguards and guidelines for officers to abide by and follow. They are as follows:
1.      Establish and enforce law enforcement and correctional ethical standards of conduct. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement created such an ethical standards of conduct which specifically outline what an officer’s conduct will be at all times.
2.      Install video cameras in every area of a correctional facility. Officers and inmates know where there are blind spots in the videotaping of any and all activity. An internal review of each correctional facility should isolate and demonstrate that there are such blind spots and steps to eliminate them should be aggressively addressed.
3.      Install video cameras and digital recorders in and outside of law enforcement vehicles where inmates can be seen and heard at all times.
4.      Supervisors should monitor the conduct of their subordinate’s e.g. showing up at traffic stops, check on the status of an individual who has been placed into custody and is in an inmate holding cell, show-up at the locations the officer is responsible for during specific times.
5.      Although it is less expensive to have one officer perform a task, assignments which may cause an officer to be put at risk or place an inmate at risk should be a two officer assignment. Although the integrity of the officer is being questioned another view point by the officer is that having two officers assigned to a specific detail protects him/her from false allegations from occurring.
6.      There should be education and training for officers in how to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of opportunities which may cause them to sexually act out with an inmate. The education and training would provide substantial steps the officer would take at the time of the opportunity to act out.
7.      Specific assignments may require a female officer to be responsible for female arrestees or inmates and the same with male officers being responsible for male arrestees and inmates. In situations where there needs to be a pat down or strip search it is important that this is performed by the same sex. There will be situations where the only person to perform a pat down is an officer and inmate of the opposite sex because an officer isn’t available to assist. Male and female officers are taught how to handle these types of circumstances, such as using the back of their hands when performing the pat down search.

The majority of law enforcement and correctional officers would not take any substantial steps and act out sexually towards a citizen, arrestee, or inmate. There is no excuse for an officer no matter what his/her responsibility is at the time of the sexual misconduct to abuse his/her power of authority.
If law enforcement and correctional hierarchies would push prosecutors and prosecutors were to push the courts to incarcerate officers who step over the line sexually and demand they receive the maximum sentence for their conduct, just maybe some of the officer’s thinking about their conduct would be something they would take seriously. Punishment is something which makes people think about their behavior and the opportunity which may have been present but they passed on it because of the severe consequences.

Lawrence W. Daly
Kent, WA

Also by Lawrence W.Daly:
Detectives Stocker and Hall are chasing a serial killer that targets twelve year old girls, and he has Brittany.  The clock is ticking, and time is running out to save her, will they find her and Victor in time?  Get this suspenseful novel today to find out!


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