Federal correctional officer in Manhattan pleads guilty to sexually abusing female inmates

Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News
·2 min read

A former Metropolitan Correctional Center officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually abusing inmates as a lockdown at the troubled jail entered its seventh day.

Colin Akparanta, 43, copped to engaging in sexual acts with seven women at the federal jail. Prosecutors said one of the women was molested through the slot in the door of her solitary confinement cell. Akparanta pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact and deprivation of civil rights.

“As he has now admitted, Colin Akparanta abused his position of authority as a correctional officer at the [the lockup] to sexually abuse at least seven inmates whose safety and security he was duty-bound to protect. This office has prosecuted, and will continue to prosecute, correctional officers who use their positions to engage in criminal conduct, and I encourage anyone with knowledge of this or similar criminal conduct involving correctional officers at the [the jail] to contact my office,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

Akparanta, of Irvington, N.J., asked victims for their contact information so he could reach them after they were released from custody, prosecutors said.

He smuggled contraband, including feminine hygiene products, into the jail for at least one victim in exchange for sexual acts. The depraved officer, who abused his victims between 2012 and 2018, took advantage of Bureau of Prisons policy that made feminine hygiene products available for purchase at the commissary. That policy was changed in 2017, making the products available free.

The guilty plea in Manhattan Federal Court occurred while the troubled jail next door remained on lockdown despite mounting public pressure.

The ban on family and attorney visits is because of a tip that a gun was smuggled into the jail. A search of the 12-story jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself uncovered a large amount of contraband — but no gun, the Daily News previously reported.

Federal defenders have criticized the Bureau of Prisons for not providing information about the lockdown, which they say violates inmates’ constitutional rights to an attorney.

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