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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 2, 2013

Former erie county correctional facility deputy sentenced for violating civil rights of inmate

          BUFFALO, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Josephine Cutolo, 54, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of deprivation of rights under color of law, was sentenced to one year probation to include six months home detention with electronic monitoring, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross, who handled the case, stated that on August 18, 2012, the defendant, a deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, was one of several deputies who was present after an altercation involving two inmates. After the altercation was over, and while one of the inmates was in handcuffs, subdued and being escorted by two other deputies, the defendant approached the subdued inmate and sprayed him with O.C. chemical spray, asking how he liked the spray. Cutolo specifically aimed the painful chemical spray a few inches from the victim’s face, resulting in the chemical released spraying the victims face, chin and shoulder area.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel.