A Brooklyn federal jail corrections officer repeatedly raped an inmate — and threatened to lock her in solitary confinement if she told anyone, prosecutors said Tuesday.
As the trial opened for Carlos Martinez, assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata said the lieutenant at the Metropolitan Detention Center used his clout and cunning to have his way with the inmate from December 2015 to April 2016.
Prosecutors only referred to the woman as “Maria” during court proceedings.
Shihata said Martinez summoned Maria — an isolated, vulnerable inmate in her late 20s facing possible deportation — to the lieutenant’s office.
In the office, with no surveillance cameras, Shihata said Martinez violated a woman “entrusted to his care and custody.”
She said Martinez told Maria to stay quiet, or he could send her to solitary confinement.
Martinez’s lawyer, Anthony Ricco, denied rape or forcible sexual conduct, Ricco said.
“Prison life is not like regular life,” he said, claiming Maria only accused Martinez of rape after being by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Ricco also urged jurors had to scrutinize Maria’s story, saying she was convicted of drug-related charges and told different stories about her own history.
“Let’s be sure the manipulation, guile and scheming fails in this court,” he said.
Martinez, 47, faces up to life if convicted. When prosecutors unsealed Martinez’s case, they unsealed two other separate cases against Metropolitan Detention Center corrections officers charged with sexually abusing inmates.
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