Former New York State Correction Officer Pleads Guilty To Depriving An Inmate Of His Constitutional Rights
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that AARON FINN pled guilty to a deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law. FINN, formerly a correction officer at the Green Haven Correctional Facility, assaulted an inmate in the custody of the State of New York, repeatedly striking and thrashing the inmate’s head and body, while the inmate was restrained with handcuffs. The assault occurred on March 19, 2020, while FINN was employed as a correction officer. FINN’s actions deprived the inmate of the constitutional right to be free from excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. FINN pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he admitted today, former correction officer Aaron Finn violated the constitutional rights of an inmate by using excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment. This conviction should send a loud and clear message—the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution extend to all Americans, including inmates. When the constitutional rights of inmates are violated, we will act aggressively to bring wrongdoers to justice.”
According to the Superseding Indictment and other documents in the public record, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
FINN was previously a correction officer assigned to the Green Haven Correctional Facility. On March 19, 2020, while working as a correction officer, FINN used his body to press a handcuffed inmate face-first against a wall, and then repeatedly struck the back of the inmate’s head, causing the inmate’s head to hit a cinder block wall. FINN then repeatedly thrashed the inmate’s head against steel cell bars. After the assault, the victim required stitches to multiple lacerations on his face and head.
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FINN, 36, of Hyde Park, New York, pled guilty to a deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 242, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Office of Special Investigations.
The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division, and the Civil Rights Unit of the Office’s Civil Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles S. Jacob and Lindsey Keenan are in charge of the prosecution.