Michael Rubino of Braintree, Massachusetts was arraigned in the Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn last Friday. It is alleged that the Massachusetts court officer had sexual contact with a couple of female prisoners while he was on duty. The alleged acts took place last year and early this year at the Boston Municipal Court on New Chardon Street in Boston. An article in the Quincy Patriot Ledger states that on two occasions Rubino engaged in sexual misconduct with a woman when she was shackled and handcuffed. In another matter authorities allege that the defendant gave a female detainee cigarettes and money in exchange for sexual acts at the courthouse.
As a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer I am interested in knowing exactly what acts are alleged against Rubino and what evidence exists to support these allegations. The reason for my curiousity is simple. There is no law prohibiting consensual sex between court officers and inmates. This is not the case for correctional officers. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 21A makes it a crime for any correctional employee to engage in sexual relations with an inmate during the course of his or her employment. A conviction for this offense is punishable by up to five years in state prison. The crime is a felony. There is no defense of consent for correctional officers whereas there is for court officers. The full text of the law reads as follows:
“An officer or other person who is employed by or contracts with any penal or correctional institution in the commonwealth, and who, in the course of such employment or contract or as a result thereof, engages in sexual relations with an inmate confined therein, within or outside of such institution, or an inmate who is otherwise under the direct custodial supervision and control of such officer or other person, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years in a state prison or by a fine of $10,000 or both. In a prosecution commenced under this section, an inmate shall be deemed incapable of consent to sexual relations with such person. For purposes of this section, sexual relations shall include intentional, inappropriate contact of a sexual nature, including, but not limited to conduct prohibited by section 22 or 24 of chapter 265 or section 2, 3, 35 or 53A of chapter 272.”
There is very little case law in Massachusetts. This is understandable in that this is one of the few laws in Massaschusetts that does not have any gray area. Either the act happened or it did not.
One of the things I wonder about in this case is the extent of the evidence against Rubino. The lockups at the courthouses are monitored with video cameras. There are several of these cameras mounted throughout the lockup area providing surveillance at numerous angles and in all cells and areas used for transporting detainees. These monitors are installed for continuous viewing of prisoners to ensure their safety and the safety of the court officers moving them in and out of the courtrooms. The video monitors are also used to ensure the safety of the correctional officers transporting the prisoners from correctional facilities and jails to and from court. Anyone such as Rubino, working the lockup is aware of these devices and what they are constantly revealing. If the basis for these allegations is simply the word of the accuser then Rubino’s defense might depend on the cameras, other inmates present at the time of the alleged incidents and the testimonies of his co-workers.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is in the business of defending the accused no matter how serious the criminal allegation. People who are being charged with a crime need a lawyer. Our number is 617-263-6800. You can call us anytime to discuss your criminal case. You can also send us an email. We will get back to you and start your defense right away.