January 12, 2017 / 9:07 PM / 2 years ago

Jail guards at New York's Rikers Island sentenced for beating, cover-up

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three guards at New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex will serve time behind bars in connection with the beating of an inmate and a subsequent cover-up effort, authorities announced on Thursday.

Michael Dorsainvil, 36; Christopher Huggins, 34; and Mark Anglin, 38, were sentenced to two years, one year and four months, respectively, according to the office of Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

A fourth guard involved in the incident, Ronald Donnelley, 63, will perform 100 hours of community service.

The guards are among dozens of Rikers employees who have been criminally prosecuted in recent years for corruption, abuse and smuggling, part of a broad effort by city officials to combat pervasive violence at one of the largest jail complexes in the United States.

“I hope these sentences continue to send the message that excessive force by those sworn to maintain order on Rikers Island will not be tolerated, nor will covering up violence or corruption,” Clark said in a statement.

Huggins, Dorsainvil and Anglin held an inmate, Carl Williams, down on the floor of a holding cell while Huggins kneed him in the head and Donnelley kept watch outside, according to prosecutors. The guards then filed false reports to hide the assault.

“Correction officers should safeguard the facts as well as the city’s jails; instead these defendants lied to cover up their crimes and violence,” said Mark Peters, commissioner of the city’s department of investigation, which uncovered discrepancies in the reports that helped lead to the charges.

Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Dan Grebler

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