A federal grand jury yesterday indicted Richard Seaman, age 46, a Correctional Officer at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, on five counts of sexual abuse of a ward. Seaman was arrested by federal agents early this morning based on the indictment.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to indictment, on five occasions between September 23, 2011, and December 8, 2011, Seaman engaged in illegal sexual acts with a detainee at FDC while the detainee was under his custodial authority.
If convicted, Seaman faces a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon as a matter of federal law, a prisoner cannot consent to sexual activity with a prison guard.
“The power imbalance between an inmate and a prison guard is simply too vast for there to be true consent in the eyes of the law,” Simon said.
The criminal case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Song.
“Detailed evidence regarding the allegations against the defendant will be presented in court during future case proceedings,” Simon said.
Report by US Attorney and FBI