A former senior corrections officer from the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility was sentenced on Friday to five years in state prison for sexually assaulting an inmate, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Renée M. Robeson announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Somerset County Superior Court Judge issued the sentence to Tyrell Harris-McLaughlin, 29, which includes a two-year period of parole ineligibility.
He was initially charged in October 2021 for sexually assaulting a female inmate while having supervisory and disciplinary authority over her.
“The Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to providing the highest standards of public service through effective investigations and prosecutions aimed at ensuring justice for all,” Robeson said in a statement.
“When those entrusted to serve the public are alleged to have violated their oath, we will thoroughly and objectively carry out our commitment to seek justice. Our office will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office and other law enforcement partners in our ongoing mission to create a safe environment for everyone in Hunterdon County. The sentence imposed by the Court today reinforces those collaborative goals.”
The complaint-warrant against Harris-McLaughlin alleges that on September 16th 2021, he sexually assaulted the victim, a female inmate over whom he had supervisory or disciplinary power by virtue of his status as a senior correctional police officer.
The alleged assault involved vaginal penetration and ejaculation.
He was indicted by a grand jury on September 29th, 2021 on one count of second-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree official misconduct, and one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.
Harris-McLaughlin pleaded guilty to third-degree tampering with a witness and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact on June 27th, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Former New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks resigned in June 2021 after an investigative report documented several instances of physical and sexual abuse.