NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four guards at New York City’s troubled Rikers Island jail complex were convicted at trial in connection with the beating of an inmate and a subsequent cover-up effort, authorities said on Thursday.
Christopher Huggins, 34, and Michael Dorsainvil, 36, were convicted of assault and filing false records, while Ronald Donnelley, 63, and Mark Anglin, 38, were found guilty of filing false records following a two-week trial.
The convictions are the latest in a string of prosecutions by local authorities of Rikers employees, part of a wide-ranging effort to combat pervasive violence and abuse at the jail complex.
With approximately 8,000 inmates at 10 separate facilities, Rikers is one of the world’s largest correctional complexes.
The city’s Department of Investigation (DOI), which looks into corrupt employees, and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark have made prosecuting crimes at Rikers a priority.
“These verdicts send a strong message to the city’s correction officers: engage in brutal behavior, lie to cover it up, and you will be punished,” said Mark Peters, the DOI commissioner.
Huggins and Donnelley were found guilty on Thursday by Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gross, while Dorsainvil and Anglin were found guilty by a jury on Wednesday.
City officials, meanwhile, have announced a series of reforms, prompted in part by a settlement between the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the city over Rikers violence.
Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Chris Reese