In a follow-up to a recent post concerning an Essex County Corrections Officer who is currently on trial in Essex County Superior Court on charges for aggravated assault as well as official misconduct, the recent testimony of a fellow corrections officer may have significantly hindered the defendant’s case.
40-year-old Essex Corrections Officer Carlton Clark is accused of assaulting a female inmate named Emirlene Philemon at the Essex County jail on August 26, 2011. The assault was recorded via a surveillance video, which was employed as evidence by Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Peter Polidoro during the trial.
In the most recent criminal proceedings, Essex County Corrections Officer Yasmina Allen retracted her previous report on the incident, claiming that she misrepresented the course of events in order to prevent Clark from being punished for his actions. In her initial report, Allen wrote that Philemon instigated the altercation by hitting Clark first. She also reported that Clark used “minimal force” to restrain Philemon during the incident.
According to Allen’s testimony during the trial, Clark did not use minimal force against the alleged victim, nor did Philemon strike him first. Allen also alleged that she attempted to stop Clark from repeatedly pummeling Philemon and that Clark continued to pull Philemon’s hair as Allen tried to put her back into her cell. This testimony follows a written statement that Allen provided to prosecutors one month after the incident occurred, before which time she had seen the surveillance video.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office granted Allen immunity from any charges, which could include official misconduct or issuing a false report, in exchange for her testimony against Clark, who could be sentenced to a maximum term of incarceration of 20 years if he is convicted of the charges against him.
Clark’s defense attorney requested a mistrial on the grounds that he was left uniformed by prosecutors about Allen’s testimony but this request was subsequently denied. Clark is currently suspended pending the results of his trial.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Essex County corrections officer says she lied about colleagues’ role in beating of female inmate