A now-former corrections officer from the Hudson Valley is accused of viciously beating a restrained inmate.

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On Thursday, officials from the Southern District of New York announced the unsealing of a federal indictment, charging former Hudson Valley correction officer Aaron Finn with violating the constitutional rights of an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).

Finn, 35, of Hyde Park is charged with one count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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It's alleged at the Green Haven Correctional Facility Finn willfully used excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment against a restrained inmate by striking and thrashing him, causing bodily injury to that inmate, in violation of the inmate’s rights under the United States Constitution.

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U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:

Correction officer Aaron Finn allegedly assaulted an inmate whom he was sworn not only to guard—but also to protect. The manner in which a country treats its incarcerated is indicative of its values, and today’s indictment underscores that incarceration should not result in undue loss of human dignity. Unfair and illegal abuses to those serving their debt to society cannot and will not be tolerated by this Office.

Finn was arrested Thursday morning.

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According to the allegations in the indictment unsealed in White Plains federal court:

  • Green Haven Correctional Facility is a maximum-security prison located in the town of Stormville and is maintained by the DOCCS.
  • At the time of the deprivation of the inmate’s constitutional rights, Finn was employed at Green Haven as a correction officer.
  • On March 19, 2020, while working at Green Haven, Finn struck an inmate in DOCCS custody multiple times and thrashed the inmate’s body and head while the inmate was restrained.
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FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll stated:

Those charged with maintaining a stable environment within the prison system are not exempt from facing charges themselves if their conduct crosses constitutional lines. Today we allege Finn did just that when he applied excessive force against an inmate. Allegations of this type will always be investigated and never be tolerated.

DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci added:

The Department is overwhelmingly comprised of dedicated, professional staff who take their jobs seriously and carry out their duties in a professional manner, and those few who choose to violate their oath of office, are not welcome among our ranks. The message here is loud and clear: criminal behavior will not be tolerated and those who break the law will be held accountable and prosecuted. I am proud that the Department’s Office of Special Investigations was able to partner with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this arrest and the pursuit of justice.

 

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