BOSTON (CBS) — A corrections officer from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department was arraigned Thursday on charges that he had improper contact with an inmate at the South Bay House of Corrections.
Marlon Juba, 29, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of having sexual contact with the female inmate while he was on duty at the facility. He was ordered held on $20,000 cash bail.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said Juba is charged under Ch. 268, Sect. 21A, of the Massachusetts General Laws, “which presumes that inmates are unable to consent to sexual contact with employees of jails, prisons, and houses of correction and which carries a maximum penalty of five years in state prison.”
Prosecutors say an investigation launched earlier this month showed Juba brought narcotics, food, and a cell phone into the jail for the inmates. The DA’s office said that, as a result, he was suspended from his job on June 3. He has not yet been charged in any of those violations.
The allegations that the husband and father also had sex with an inmate came two days after that suspension, and arose from information discovered during that initial investigation. Prosecutors say surveillance video shows Juba going into the inmate’s cell around 3 a.m., and then adjusting his groin as he exited the cell 16 minutes later. Prosecutors say the victim, who is no longer at South Bay, also admitted to police that she and Juba had multiple sexual encounters.
Boston Police Sexual Assault detectives also found a “sexually explicit letter” addressed to Juba from the victim during a search of Juba’s home, according to the Suffolk County DA’s office.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department said Juba was suspended after a disciplinary hearing and barred from the house of corrections. The Sheriff’s Department also said they had notified Boston Police and the Suffolk County DA’s office about their findings, which led to Juba’s arrest by Boston Police Wednesday.
“The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has zero tolerance for staff misconduct and the suspected officer was relieved of duty and barred from the facility,” said Department Superintendent Yolanda Smith. “The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department is deeply committed to the safety and proper custody of all inmates and detainees.”
Juba’s defense attorney says none of the accusations are true.
“He’s explained his actions, denied any involvement they say,” Juba’s attorney said outside court Thursday. “Unfortunately, they’re taking the word of individuals who have every motive to lie and say bad things about him as justification for their actions in this case.”
Juba was also ordered to stay away from the victim, as well as all the inmates and employees at the South Bay House of Corrections. He was also ordered to hand over his license to carry. The prosecution said five firearms were recovered from his home, including an AR-15–but said he did have licenses for all of those weapons.
Juba is due back in court August 23.