BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Male prison guards in New York State's female correctional facilities -- including two prisons in Western New York -- assaulted and raped female inmates and jail officials covered it up, a new federal lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on behalf of five women -- identified using the pseudonyms Jane Stone #1-5 -- alleges that male prison guards "routinely engaged in illegal sexual activity with individual victim inmates over long periods of time."
The rapes and sexual assaults, the lawsuit states, occurred over the last few years at five New York prisons, including the all-female Albion Correctional Facility and the mixed-gender Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in Brocton.
When the women reported the abuse to state officials, lawyers for the women allege jail officials "covered up the assaults by giving lip service to official policies and disciplining individual staff members only when their sexual abuse of inmates became too egregious and notorious to ignore."
Some of the allegations deal with corrections officers who have already been arrested, including:
- James W. Castonguay, who was arrested in September and charged with sex crimes at Albion Correctional.
- David F. Stupnick, who was arrested in May and charged with multiple sex crimes at Albion Correctional.
- James W. Beam Jr., who was arrested in Dec. 2017 and charged with rape of an inmate at Lakeview Shock.
- Matthew A. Antolini, who was arrested in Jan. 2018 and charged with official misconduct for having a sexual relationship with an inmate at Lakeview Shock.
By law, inmates cannot consent to sexual activity with an officer, the lawsuit states.
A spokesman for the state corrections department declined to comment, citing pending litigation. Click here to read the lawsuit.