Maui News

Correctional Officer Indicted on Sex Assault Allegations

April 19, 2012, 9:04 AM HST
* Updated April 19, 9:05 AM
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

A federal grand jury yesterday indicted a Correctional Officer at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, on five counts of sexual abuse of a prison ward.

Richard Seaman,46, was arrested by federal agents early this morning based on the indictment.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to indictment, Seaman engaged in illegal sexual acts with a detainee at FDC while the detainee was under his custodial authority.  The incidents, she said, occurred on five occasions between September 23, 2011, and December 8, 2011.

If convicted, Seaman faces a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

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“As a matter of federal law, a prisoner cannot consent to sexual activity with a prison guard,” said Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.

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“The power imbalance between an inmate and a prison guard is simply too vast for there to be true consent in the eyes of the law. Detailed evidence regarding the allegations against the defendant will be presented in court during future case proceedings,” said Simon.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The criminal case was investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.

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