MANHATTAN — A former Rikers Island guard is facing up to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of covering up the beating of an inmate, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Rodiny Calypso, 38, had relieved another officer inside a Rikers solitarily confinement facility in February 2014 when he got into a verbal altercation with an inmate who was taking a shower and then assaulted the prisoner in a shower stall after handcuffing him.
“Prisoners at Rikers Island have the same constitutional rights we all enjoy, and corrections officers do not have the right to abuse inmates in their custody and care,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement.
“Rodiny Calypso’s lies about his use of force undermined the investigation into his brutal beating of a handcuffed, defenseless inmate. We will continue to aggressively protect the rights of prisoners and the integrity of investigations into uses of force to ensure that justice reaches everywhere, including isolated corners of Rikers Island.”
Calypso, who became a guard in 2004 and served in the Iraq war, waited a full day to fill out a “Use of Force” report and then lied on the form, omitting that he punched the inmate with closed fists while holding him in a headlock and adding he only hit him in the “upper torso” area, according to prosecutors.
The prisoner suffered lacerations to his face and back of his head. The assault was captured on surveillance video and witnessed by multiple inmates.
Calypso, who lives in Springfield Gardens, was convicted by a jury of one count of filing a false report.
He was acquitted on one count of violating the inmate’s civil rights and obstruction of justice.
Calypso, who had a base salary of more than $80,000, according to public records, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 30.
Department of Correction officials had previously said any worker found guilty of a felony would be automatically fired.
His lawyer did not return an immediate request for comment.