Female corrections officer gets jail time for having ‘depraved’ sex with inmate in front of other prisoners

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FRESNO COUNTY, CA – A former corrections officer who pleaded guilty in April to charges stemming from her having sex with an inmate was recently handed down a 7-month jail sentence followed by two years of probation. 

When describing the illicit sexual exploits of the corrections officer, Fresno County Assistant Sheriff Steve McComas said it was “something only a depraved mind can come up with.”

According to reports, 27-year-old Tina Gonzalez, who once worked at the Fresno County jail, is now a convicted felon after her sexual escapades with an inmate at the jail she once worked at came to light. 

Gonzalez, who started working at the jail in 2016, reportedly had a relationship with an inmate that lasted over an entire year before she was arrested in December of 2019. 

In that time, Gonzalez also provided the inmate with a cellphone, razor blades, and even jail intelligence, according to prosecutor Kaitlin Drake: 

“At times, communicated sensitive information to the inmate about individuals that were entering the inmate’s pod as well as times when the pod would be searched.”

Gonzalez pleaded guilty in April to sexual activity by a detention facility employee with a consenting confined adult and possession of drugs or an alcoholic beverage in a jail. 

Fresno County Assistant Sheriff McComas commented during Gonzalez’s June 29th sentencing about the “depraved” nature of the crimes she committed while working at the jail facility: 

“Cutting a hole in your pants to make it easier to have sex with an inmate and having intercourse in full view of 11 other inmates is something only a depraved mind could come up with.”

Assistant Sheriff McComas was particularly disturbed that even after Gonzalez was arrested, she continued to have a relationship with the inmate and “even boasts” during calls with the inmate about their exploits in the jail: 

“The fact that she continually calls, has sexually explicit conversations with the inmate in question, and even boasts about the crimes she carried out shows that she’s incapable of owning up to her mistakes and will undoubtedly continue in the future.”

Judge Michael Idiart could have sent Gonzalez to prison for up to 16 months, which apparently prosecutors were hoping for a sentence more closely resembling the maximum time. 

However, Judge Idiart noted that Gonzalez had no prior criminal history and also openly admitted to the crimes she committed once her exploits came to light. 

The judge sentenced Gonzalez to 210 days in jail and with credit for time served, meaning she could be out as early as October, as well as two years of probation. 

When Gonzalez was sentenced, Judge Idiart did speak frankly with the defendant about her “stupid” behavior: 

“I think what you did was terrible, stupid. You’ve ruined your career. You endangered your fellow officers. But I also believe that people can redeem themselves. You have the rest of your life to prove that.”

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While Gonzalez managed to get some jail time and a felony record with her work in corrections, a handful of corrections officers in Louisiana managed to endure the likes of online criticism over a relatively silly photo of them and a apprehended individual. 

We at Law Enforcement Today reported on that matter earlier in June. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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The following article contains editorial content by a staff writer with Law Enforcement Today.

WASHINGTON PARISH, LA – Four Louisiana corrections officers who posed for a photo with an apprehended felon – after they helped track him down and took him into custody – are facing a degree of backlash online. 

However, this backlash is being achieved via some elongating mental gymnastics of trying to link racism to a tongue-in-cheek photo where an apprehended individual seems rather jovial after being apprehended. 

The anger seems to lend to a notion that white people taking photos with a black person is wrong, if said white people are in positions of authority and the black person is the criminal.

At least, in the case of white correctional officers apprehending a black suspect in Louisiana – that seems to be the case. And frankly, there isn’t much context to digest beyond the aforementioned. 

Four unidentified corrections officers from Washington Parish had taken a somewhat silly photo with a man arrested for robbing a Mississippi bank. 

Clearly, the corrections officers and the suspect were being cheesy in the photo, all smiling in the endeavor (which, considering that getting arrested isn’t exactly a fun time, speaks highly of the suspect in the case). 

While a cheeky photo, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections acknowledged that maybe the photo wasn’t the brightest move by the corrections officers – but also noted that the picture itself didn’t break any detailed policies. 

Ergo, none of the officers shown in the photo will be disciplined for the snafu. 

But some are coming out and proclaiming that the photo snapped is some sort of veiled racism. 

Ashraf Esmail, an associate professor of criminal justice at Dillard University, proclaims that the photograph reignites old instances of slave catchers tasked with apprehending runaway slaves from an era far gone: 

“It brings about the history of slavery when you think about hunting of African Americans at one time. With the issue of law enforcement and racial justice this past year, it really gives off a very, very bad optic.”

The felon featured in the photo was identified as Eric Boykin, who is now residing in the Jefferson Davis County Jail under charges of armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Perhaps the more reasonable of the storm of criticism pertaining to the photo came from the president of the Louisiana NAACP, Michael McClanahan, who simply pointed out that felony arrests aren’t exactly the ideal Kodak moment: 

“It’s not becoming of a professional law enforcement officer because I know too many of them. They don’t do that. It sends a wrong message.”

While some have come forward asking that disciplinary action be taken against the men featured in the photo, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections explained that there’s simply nothing on the books with respect to such displays. 

However, the DPSC stated that future sensitivity training will cover instances such as the aforementioned:

“The picture should not have been taken, it was poor judgement. We regret that it happened and will use this incident for sensitivity training for our staff.”

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In other news in the world of prison, Bill Cosby was recently released after the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction over some legally sketchy moves made by the prosecution. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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HARRISBURG, PA – In a move that came to the surprise of many, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has decided to overturn Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction on June 30th, which will allow him to walk free out of prison.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reached said decision by highlighting prosecutorial mistakes made in the case, which said mistake is most easily described as essentially a broken promise to not prosecute Cosby when he delivered testimony during a lawsuit over a decade prior to his 2018 conviction.

The now 83-year-old Cosby will be released from prison, after having been sentenced to three-to-ten years in prison for the 2018 conviction of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman back in 2004.

Cosby’s 2018 criminal conviction relied heavily upon self-incriminating testimony he gave during a lawsuit that took place between 2005 and 2006 involving the victim from 2004 sexual assault.

Back in 2005, then- Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to criminally charge Cosby, citing that short of any sort of confession due to a lack of tangible evidence, a conviction would be near impossible to obtain.

This then paved the way for civil proceedings against Cosby launched by the 2004 victim, Andrea Constand, which since this was a civil matter, Cosby wouldn’t be afforded the right to not testify as a defendant normally could in a criminal trial.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that specifically in their decision reached to vacate Cosby’s conviction:

“Unable to invoke any right not to testify in the civil proceedings, Cosby relied upon the district attorney’s declination and proceeded to provide four sworn depositions. During those depositions, Cosby made several incriminating statements.”

It was in 2015 that Kevin Steele was elected to serve as the Montgomery County district attorney, which his campaign at the time promised that – if elected – he would prosecute Cosby for the sexual assault of Constand that happened in 2004.

Which, DA Steele did exactly that.

DA Steele proclaimed at the time in 2015 when charges were brought against Cosby that evidence against him in the 2004 case had strengthened – but in reality, the evidence that was primarily used to convict Cosby was the testimony from the lawsuit brought forth after former DA Castor said his office wouldn’t prosecute the case.

The state’s high court’s decision noted that just because there’s a “changing of the guard”, it doesn’t mean that a new district attorney can play by their own rules without limitations:

“[T]he discretion vested in our Commonwealth’s prosecutors, however vast, does not mean that its exercise is free of the constraints of due process.

When an unconditional charging decision is made publicly and with the intent to induce action and reliance by the defendant, and when the defendant does so to his detriment (and in some instances upon the advice of counsel), denying the defendant the benefit of that decision is an affront to fundamental fairness, particularly when it results in a criminal prosecution that was forgone for more than a decade. No mere changing of the guard strips that circumstance of its inequity.”

The state supreme court’s decision noted that there is of course a “public interest” in having those guilty of crimes adequately punished, but due process cannot be violated in the pursuit of justice:

“All of this started with DA Castor’s compulsion of Cosby’s reliance upon a public proclamation that Cosby would not be prosecuted.

The CDO’s remedy for all this would include subjecting Cosby to a third criminal trial. That is no remedy at all. Rather, it is an approach that would place Cosby nowhere near where he was before the due process violation took root.”

The court found that not only must Cosby’s conviction be tossed, but that he can never be prosecuted on these same charges ever again:

“There is only one remedy that can completely restore Cosby to the status quo ante. He must be discharged, and any future prosecution on these particular charges must be barred. We do not dispute that this remedy is both severe and rare. But it is warranted here, indeed compelled.”

“The CDO would shun this remedy because (at least in part it) might thwart the public interest in having the guilty brought to book. It cannot be gainsaid that society holds a strong interest in the prosecution of crimes.

It is also true that no such interest, however important, ever can eclipse society’s interest in ensuring that the constitutional rights of the people are vindicated. Societies interest in prosecution does not displace the remedy due to constitutionally aggrieved persons.”

According to reports, Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, will be picking him up from prison on June 30th. 

Attorney Gloria Allred, who had represented many of the women who testified against Cosby during his criminal trial, said that while the Pennsylvania Supreme Court let Cosby walk free on “technical grounds”, this still doesn’t “vindicate his actions”:

“Despite the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision, this was an important fight for justice. And even though the court overturned the conviction on technical grounds, it did not vindicate Bill Cosby’s conduct and should not be interpreted as a statement or a finding that he did not engage in the acts of which he has been accused.”

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