Rikers Correction Officer Admits to Taking Bribes, Having Sex with Inmate

By Mary Johnson on March 9, 2012 6:10pm 

A corrections officer at Rikers Island pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and having sex with an inmate, a city investigation revealed.
A corrections officer at Rikers Island pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and having sex with an inmate, a city investigation revealed.
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Bronx River Crossing

MANHATTAN — A city correction officer has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and having sex with an inmate at Rikers Island, a city investigation revealed.

An eight-month probe by the Department of Investigation found that Clara Espada, 41, of Manhattan, accepted cash in exchange for allowing alcohol, cigarettes and Ecstasy into the George Motchan Detention Center, a facility housing all adult male inmates, between July 2009 and January 2010.

During that time, Espada also engaged in sexual activity with an inmate, constituting a crime because prisoners cannot legally consent to sex with a correction officer.

Espada will be sentenced later this month and is expected to serve six months in jail, followed by three years of probation.

“Arrest, prosecution, jail time and the loss of a valuable city job is the likely end for any correction officer who receives bribes to transport contraband into the city jails,” DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said in a statement.

“Thankfully, investigators exposed and stopped this defendant’s illegal conduct, and she was called to account.”

Espada, who was paid a salary of more than $76,000 a year, was prohibited from having contact with inmates when the investigation began back in June of 2011. She resigned from the department in February.

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