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New York Prison Guard Fired for Sex Multiple Times with Inmate and Pressuring Her to Delay Rape Report


A New York correctional officer at Rikers Island was fired quietly after allegations of his sexual relationship with a detainee were brought to light. 

An administrative judge found that Leonard McNeill had sexual relations with a detainee, provided her with drugs, and persuaded her to delay a rape report against another correctional officer, Jose Cosme. 

Administrative Law Judge Kevin Casey that Leonard McNeill said he should be fired for violating his duties as a correctional officer. 

“By engaging in an improper sexual relationship, respondent exploited the inmate, posed a security risk, created the appearance of corruption, and undermined authority,” Casey also wrote in a 13-page opinion. ‘Far less egregious acts of undue familiarity have routinely led to the termination of employment.”

The New York Post adds, “The charges against McNeill stem from a series of incidents that occurred at the notorious Rikers Island jail complex in 2015 and were the subject of a scathing Manhattan federal court lawsuit, which the city agreed to settle in 2019 by paying the woman $500,000.”

In which Cosme was fired at the time, registered as a sex offender, and sentenced to 10 years, McNeill avoided prosecution while the woman was paid $500,000 from the city. 

The woman believed she was establishing a close bond with McNeill and testified. “They watched movies and football games together in the sanitation office, he brought her food from Kentucky Fried Chicken, and he let her use his cell phone to make calls.”

She also knew McNeill had a wife who was fired for having sex with an inmate, alluding the two had an open relationship. During the administrative hearing, she recalled moments she and McNeill had sex, including performing oral sex while he wished his wife a “Happy Birthday” over the phone. 

The relationship got cloudy once she told McNeill that Cosme ripped off her prison guard uniform and raped her. She alleges McNeill pressured her to wait until he was on vacation so he wouldn’t be brought into the matter. 

McNeill has denied having sex with the woman and sits without a job since Casey found the woman’s story more reliable than the officer’s.





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