New City: Rockland County Corrections officer charged with misconduct

23 Aug 2020 | 04:01

Rockland County Correction Officer John Kezek, 35, of Florida, N.Y., was arraigned last week on a five-count indictment for official misconduct regarding behavior directed at female inmates at the Rockland County Jail last fall.

All counts are misdemeanors. At the arraignment, attorney Joel Cohen of New York City appeared with the defendant virtually and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Kezek was released on his own recognizance. Judge Kevin F. Russo also issued protective orders for the victims in this case.

“The behavior alleged in this matter ... cannot be tolerated in any civil society,” Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh said in the press release detailing the charges. “Females who are incarcerated are particularly vulnerable and the sexual harassment alleged in this case should be rebuked by all leaders of this county.

“The District Attorney’s office has information that there are other victims and urge that they come forward,” Walsh added. “We will utilize all the authority of our office to protect you and hold those responsible accountable. No woman, no matter their race, sexual orientation or creed should be subject to inappropriate sexual conduct by those in positions of power.”

Second case

Kezek was the second Rockland corrections officer to be arraigned last week. According to the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, Christopher Taggart, 39, of New City, arraigned on a 23-count indictment charging two counts of first-degree promoting prison contraband, a felony, and 21 counts of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.

He pleaded pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance pending future court action.