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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 15, 2022

Former Green Haven Correction Officer And Former Supervisor Charged In Connection With 2020 Assault On Inmate

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging TAJ EVERLY, a former correction officer at Green Haven Correctional Facility (“Green Haven”), and ROSITA ROSSY, a former sergeant at the same facility, in connection with EVERLY’s May 28, 2020, assault of an inmate at Green Haven. 

In October 2022, EVERLY was charged in a one-count indictment alleging that he falsified records in connection with the May 28, 2020, assault.  The Superseding Indictment – in addition to charging EVERLY with falsifying records – charges EVERLY with deprivation of rights under color of law and charges ROSSY with falsifying records, witness tampering, and conspiracy to falsify records.    

ROSSY was arrested this morning and was presented before Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause.  EVERLY is released on bail and will be arraigned on the Superseding Indictment at a later date.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Nelson S. Román.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Correction Officer Taj Everly allegedly assaulted an inmate in his charge.  Instead of upholding his duty to guard and protect that inmate, he deprived him of a constitutional right to be free from excessive force.  Afterwards, Everly and his supervisor, Sergeant Rosita Rossy, attempted to cover up the assault by falsifying their reports, and in Rossy’s case, directing other correction officers under her supervision to do the same.  Today’s Superseding Indictment underscores our Office’s unwavering commitment to protecting the civil rights of all individuals, including those repaying their debt to society in prison.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll said: “As previously alleged, Mr. Everly violated his oath to conceal his malicious actions – actions we allege today deprived the victim of his constitutional rights.  We further allege Ms. Rossy made false reports – and instructed correctional officers she supervised to make similarly false reports – in a concerted effort to conceal Mr. Everly’s actions.  The FBI will continue to work to ensure those in positions of trust who misuse their authority are made to face the consequences of their abuses in the criminal justice system.”  

According to the allegations in the Superseding Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court:[1]

On May 28, 2020, EVERLY, who was then a correction officer at Green Haven, located in Stormville, New York, assaulted an inmate in the care and custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”) (“Inmate-1).  As Inmate-1 exited a room at Green Haven, EVERLY approached Inmate-1 and, without provocation, punched Inmate-1, causing both EVERLY and Inmate-1 to fall to the ground.  EVERLY’s actions deprived Inmate-1 of his constitutional right to be free from excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.

After the assault, EVERLY, ROSSY, and other correction officers prepared reports describing the incident.  In EVERLY’s report (the “Everly Report”), EVERLY falsely stated that Inmate-1 had first punched him and that EVERLY responded with force.  Despite receiving information from multiple correction officers that contradicted EVERLY’s statements, ROSSY also prepared a report that mirrored the statements made in the Everly Report.  ROSSY further directed at least two other correction officers — both of whom reported to ROSSY — to prepare similarly false and misleading reports.

*                *                *

EVERLY, 32, of Cortlandt Manor, New York, is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of falsifying records in connection with a federal investigation, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

ROSSY, 49, of Monticello, New York, is charged with one count of falsifying records in connection with a federal investigation, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, two counts of witness tampering, which each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to falsify records, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the DOCCS Office of Special Investigations. 

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit in the Criminal Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lindsey Keenan and Kaiya Arroyo are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Superseding Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Contact: 
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
22-396
Updated December 15, 2022