Federal prison guard sexually assaulted 4 inmates in New York City, prosecutors say

PHOTO: The Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York is seen on June 9, 2009.PlayChris Hondros/Getty Images
WATCH News headlines today: May 21, 2019

A federal correctional officer was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly abusing his position to sexually assault female inmates over the course of six years, according to newly filed charges.

Colin Akparanta was charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a ward, four counts of abusive sexual contact and one count of deprivation of civil rights in connection to four women who were housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City between 2012 and 2018.

"Akparanta was a predator in uniform, exploiting his position to sexually abuse multiple inmates over a several-year period. No inmate in a Bureau of Prisons facility should fear sexual abuse at the hands of a correctional officer," said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement.

The veteran prison guard, who is also listed in court documents as "Africa" or "Akon," allegedly "smuggled contraband, including, but not limited to, personal hygiene items, makeup, and food into the MCC for some of the victims, and, with respect to at least one of the victims, explicitly conditioned his provision of contraband on the inmate’s continued performance of sexual acts with him," the statement said.

Prior to their release, Akparanta, 42, of Irvington, New Jersey, allegedly asked the victims for their contact information as well so that he could get in touch with them once they were released.

If convicted for the top charge — sexual abuse of a ward — Akparanta faces up to 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Akparanta is currently awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Federal Court. There was no attorney information available.

Berman requested that anyone who believes they have information concerning Akparanta, or any similar conduct, to contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (866) 874-8900.