Inmates charged in alleged sex assault

Charges also hint that prison guard might have turned blind eye to attack

Details of an alleged sexual assault at the Blair County Prison came to light Wednesday as five of the six inmates charged in the attack were brought before a judge.

The criminal charges also hint that a guard possibly might have turned a blind eye to the alleged attack in what Hollidaysburg Borough police described as a violation of an inmate over contraband March 16.

Dalaun Carroll, 28; Charles Frank, 43; Zachary Moore, 24; Curtis “Tank” Ramsey, 31; and Maurice “Wayne” Wakefield II, 24; were all arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner. A sixth suspect, Allen Grager, 22, is in a state prison and has yet to be arraigned.

According to the charges, police began investigating the assault March 17 after the victim, who will be referred to as Inmate No. 1 to protect his identity, was taken to UPMC Altoona’s emergency department.

Inmate No. 1 told Hollidaysburg police that he was in a “day room” at the jail about 9:30 or 10 p.m. the previous day, March 16, when Carroll told him to come to a cell.

Once inside the cell, Grager, Moore, Frank, Wakefield and Ramsey walked in behind him. Inmate No. 1 told police he was asked about a criminal case from several years ago in which a co-defendant received a lengthy prison term before the group turned their attention to contraband tobacco they believed he was hiding in his rectum.

Police noted in the charges that Inmate No. 1 was beaten and kicked “repeatedly about the head, back and kidney area, along with getting a lacerated, bloody right ear.”

Grager allegedly grabbed Inmate No. 1’s left arm while Moore held the right arm, so Inmate No. 1 was face down over the toilet in the cell. Grager allegedly told Inmate No. 1 he was going to stab him, and Wakefield said Inmate No. 1 “better ‘give it up’ and to ‘do this the easy way,'” police noted in the charges.

Ramsey allegedly stood in the doorway of the cell and served as a lookout while Carroll was “going back and forth to the guard on different occasions,” the charges indicate.

The guard is identified in the charges, but his name is being withheld because he has not been charged.

Inmate No. 1 told police that while he was held down, Frank put on rubber gloves and inserted his fingers. Police said Frank was “digging for the alleged tobacco and even used toothbrushes in attempts to retrieve the tobacco.”

The attack lasted between 25 and 30 minutes and left inmate No. 1 with pain and injuries.

Video footage confirmed details of Inmate No. 1’s story, including the suspects walking into the cell after him.

Police said other inmates reported being assaulted and witnessed parts of the attack, corroborating the details of the story told by Inmate No. 1. Inmate No. 2 said he was assaulted before the attack when Ramsey, Grager and Moore walked into his cell and said they were going to beat him up. Inmate No. 2 said he was asked about the tobacco and if Inmate No. 1 had it or someone else was hiding it. Ramsey, Grager and Moore grabbed Inmate No. 2, put him on the floor before Moore allegedly threatened him with a shank he held to the victim’s throat, police said.

Moore threatened to cut his throat and retrieve whatever was in his rectum, police said. Inmate No. 2 described the shank as about 6 inches long with cloth wrapped around it as a handle. Police said Inmate No. 2 got away from the three men and into an area visible to the jail’s cameras. He also reported seeing Inmate No. 1 after the attack and that he had blood and feces in his boxer shorts and was bleeding from his rectum and ear.

The investigation allegedly revealed surveillance footage that corroborated what Inmate No. 2 told police.

Another inmate, Inmate No. 3, also told police about seeing a bleeding Inmate No. 1 after the attack and that he saw Inmate No. 1 sit down on a toilet and extract the tobacco. Inmate No. 1 then threw it across the day room at the six suspects, police said.

Police said Inmate No. 4 told them he was on E-block and also was assaulted in connection to the attack. He also provided details that matched the other witnesses, including seeing bloody toothbrushes in the sink and bloody gloves in the toilet. Inmate No. 4 said he and other inmates had to clean up the cell after the attack “due to having to live there,” police noted in the charges.

Inmate No. 5 told police he was in his cell before the attack and that Carroll came in and said they were going to use it. Inmate No. 5 said after the attack was underway, Frank “looked at him and told him he could be charged with what was about to happen” and “if he didn’t want charged to leave the cell,” police wrote in the charges.

Inmate No. 5 also provided details that matched other witnesses, and he told police that during the assault, “Carroll was going up to the guard on different occasions.”

Police also noted Inmate No. 5 indicated during one interaction with Carroll, the guard made “hand gestures meaning ‘wrap it up'” to Carroll.

Bail was set for all five suspects at $75,000 cash, and they were remanded to Blair County Prison to await preliminary hearings on the charges scheduled for May 30.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.