EXCLUSIVE: Correction officer sexually assaulted at Rikers speaks out

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Josh Einiger has the exclusive story. (WABC)

A correction officer at Rikers Island was sexually assaulted while escorting an inmate over the weekend, and now, in a bizarre twist, she claims she was reprimanded for her actions during the incident and even threatened with losing her job.

"He violated me," officer Samantha Moscoso said.

Moscoso has barely started to process her nightmare, but she wanted to speak out about what happened to her behind the locked doors on Rikers Island.

It was a sex crime, she says, at the hands of an inmate who she is sworn to protect.

"And I screamed and I screamed for him to let go, for him to get off, for him to let go, for him to stop," Moscoso said.

Moscoso's job is to work a special segregation unit that houses the most violent inmates.

On Sunday morning, she says she was taking 25-year-old Dexter Bell to the shower. His hands were cuffed, and she was behind him. But he managed to pin her up against a railing, reaching back and grabbing her between the legs.

"And I had to sit there and get him off me by any means possible," she said. "By putting my hands on him in his head, his neck, his upper torso area, so he could let go."

She didn't know Bell is a Level 2 sex offender convicted in the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl. And she had no idea he's awaiting trial for allegedly raping three other women.

"We don't know what the inmates are in there for," she said. "None of us. We didn't know what they're in there for."

The Department of Corrections issued a statement in response to the incident.

"Safety is the commissioner's top priority," it said. "This inmate has been arrested in connection with this unacceptable incident."

Bell is now facing added charges, including sexual abuse.

But Moscoso says the police were not called until her union got involved. And worse, she says, her captain, also a woman, threatened to write her up for hitting the inmate as she tried to fight him off.

"I was victimized by the inmate and then victimized by my superiors," Moscoso said. "She told me, 'Oh you put your hands on him?' And I'm hysterical crying. 'You put your hands on him? The department doesn't take too kindly to head shots. That's grounds for termination.' You're more concerned about an inmate, and I'm your officer?"

In response to the story, the Department of Corrections tells Eyewitness News that that it immediately arrested the inmate after the incident and immediately contacted prosecutors. The officer was not disciplined, and the officer's actions defending herself were deemed a legitimate use of force and within department guidelines.

Related Topics:
sex assaultrikers islandcorrection officerNew York City
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