Essex County Corrections Officer on Trial for Aggravated Assault, Official Misconduct

An Essex County Corrections Officer is currently undergoing criminal proceedings in Essex County Superior Court on charges for aggravated assaultas well as official misconduct, after allegedly assaulting an inmate at the Essex County jail.

According to prosecutors, 40-year-old Essex Corrections Officer Carlton Clark is accused of assaulting female inmate, Emirlene Philemon, in an incident that occurred on August 26, 2011.

Philemon, whose original charges were downgraded following the incident, recently testified against Clark during a Newark court appearance. Per Philemon’s testimony, she made a comment intended as a joke when she could not find the remote for the television in the waiting room of the jail’s medical unit, at which time Clark took her back to her cell.

Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Polidoro played a surveillance video of the events that followed during the trial, which shows Clark leaving Philemon’s cell before turning around, grabbing her, and punching her in the face. Philemon reportedly falls to the ground as Clark continually punches her on tape. According to Philemon’s testimony, Clark subsequently high-fived another one of the jail’s employees.

The prosecution has refuted the suggestion that Philemon, who was originally charged witharmed robbery in May 2011 but later pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of receiving stolen property in June 2012, was given a plea agreement in exchange for her testimony in Clark’s trial. An armed robbery conviction could have subjected Philemon to a sentence of between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. Instead, she was sentenced to time-served, which amounted to 383 days in jail, in addition to a two-year period of probation.

Clark, on the other hand, could be sentenced to a maximum term of incarceration of 20 years if he is convicted of the charges against him. He is currently suspended pending the results of his trial.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense, contact Essex County NJ criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup for a free consultation about your case.

For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Female inmate at Essex County jail says officer pummeled her after 2011 dispute over TV set