NEWARK, N.J., June 14 (UPI) — A former corrections officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in her jail cell in New Jersey and then lying about it.
Shawn D. Shaw, 42, was found guilty in February of depriving the inmates of her rights under color of law and obstruction of justice.
He was eligible for life in prison but U.S. District Judge Esther Salas said that sentence was too hard for someone who had not committed other crimes.
Shaw proclaimed his innocence.
“God knows the truth,” Shaw told the judge. “I’m a good man.”
Shaw entered the victim’s cell at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark around 2 a.m. on Dec. 28, 2010. He sexually assault her as her cellmate slept in the upper bunk.
Because of a blizzard, he was the only officer in the women’s unit that night.
The victim, who was awaiting trial in a drug-related case, testified that Shaw entered her cell, and Shaw raped her even though she said “stop” and “no.” DNA analysis corroborated the victim’s testimony.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Eicher noted Shaw lied to FBI and on the witness stand.
Prosecutors sought a sentence of at least 30 years.
“The defendant abused his position of power to exploit a vulnerable individual whom he was tasked with protecting,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta.
“While no amount of jail time can undo the harm he caused, I am hopeful that this sentence will provide some level of resolution to the victim who had the strength and resolve to report the assault.”
Salas also sentenced Shaw to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $6,000 in restitution.