A former corrections officer with the Essex County Correctional Facility was sentenced today to 300 months in prison for sexually assaulting a pretrial detainee and then lying about it to investigators, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, announced.
Shawn D. Shaw, 42, of Newark, was previously convicted of both counts of an indictment charging him with depriving an individual of rights under color of law and obstruction of justice following a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. The jury deliberated for two days before returning the guilty verdict.
Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Shaw was the only officer on duty in the female unit during the night of a snow blizzard on Dec. 28, 2010.
During the night, Shaw made sexually explicit comments to the victim. Although she rejected his advances, records show that in the middle of the night, Shaw opened the victim’s cell door. The victim testified that Shaw entered her cell, and despite her saying “stop” and “no,” Shaw raped her. Expert testimony, including DNA analysis, corroborated the victim’s testimony that Shaw was her assailant.
When investigators questioned Shaw about the attack, he lied and intentionally omitted information from his statement in order to obstruct the investigation. Shaw falsely stated that he did not make sexual comments to the detainee or enter the victim’s cell.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Shaw to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $6,000 to the victim.