Aug. 6—VERNON TOWNSHIP — A former corrections officer from Mercer County has been charged with sexually assaulting an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Cambridge Springs earlier this year.
Alexius D. Castro, 23, of Hermitage is accused by Pennsylvania State Police at Meadville of one count of institutional sexual assault for sexually touching the inmate at the women's prison at 10 p.m. on Jan 28.
Police allege Castro, who was a corrections officer at SCI Cambridge Springs at the time, sexually touched and kissed the inmate.
SCI Cambridge Springs is one of two women's prisons in Pennsylvania. It can house up to 1,068 inmates and has 355 full-time employees, according to the Department of Corrections (DOC) website. The prison opened in 1992 on the site of the former Alliance College of Cambridge Springs.
Castro was a state Department of Corrections employee for approximately 18 months before being fired this year, according to Maria Bivens, press secretary for the department.
Bivens said Castro was hired as a corrections officer trainee at SCI Cambridge Springs on Oct. 19, 2020, then became a corrections officer 1 at the prison on Oct. 19, 2021. Castro held that position until her termination on April 11 of this year.
"She was not employed with the DOC at the time of her arraignment," Bivens said via email to The Meadville Tribune.
Bivens declined comment on the cause of Castro's firing. "Personnel information is not public," she said in the email.
Castro was arraigned on the charge, a third-degree felony, late Friday morning before Magisterial District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver of Vernon Township.
Zilhaver released Castro on nonmonetary bond. She has a preliminary hearing on the charge Aug. 17 before Zilhaver.
If convicted, Castro could face up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at .