Editor’s note: This article contains graphic content.
A Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officer at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview was charged Tuesday with four felony counts related to the repeated sexual assault of a prison inmate from Sept. 2009 to April 2012, Pennsylvania State Police said.
Corrections officer Marlin E. Freeman, 54, has been charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, rape, sexual assault and institutional sexual assault, police said.
A SCI Rockview inmate said Freeman repeatedly sexually assaulted him in the chapel of the prison, police said. The inmate is currently serving a life sentence for murder and has been incarcerated at SCI Rockview since 2003, police said.
Freeman has been employed at SCI Rockview since about 1991 and told police that the claims by the inmate are “absolutely false,” police said.
“These are very serious charges, and we intend to defend them vigorously,” attorney Brian Manchester, whose office is representing Freeman, said.
On Nov. 15, 2012, Freeman called police to inform them that he was resigning from the Department of Corrections on Nov. 24, 2012, police said.
Freeman repeatedly asked police if his resignation would clear him of all charges because he said that he was informed that if he resigned the investigation would stop, police said. Police told him that there was “ample evidence” to proceed with the case, police said. Police said they now have DNA evidence that links Freeman to the case.
The inmate reported that some time in September 2009, he visited the prison chapel to sign out religious recordings, police said. The inmate said that during this time Freeman was assigned to a post in the same chapel, police said.
The inmate reported that Freeman would personally request his assistance in the chapel, police said. Eventually, police said, Freeman threatened the inmate by saying that if the inmate did not engage in oral sex with him, he would have the inmate removed from his job assigned within the prison and have him placed in the Restricted Housing Unit. The inmate reported that this type of incident occurred on a monthly basis.
The inmate told police that Freeman never physically assaulted him, but the nature of their sexual interactions was not consensual and Freeman used his authority and power to force the inmate to engage in the sexual acts, police said.
Freeman’s bail was set at $50,000 unsecured and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 23.
Repeated calls to attorney Norris Gelman, who is representing the inmate, were not returned as of press time Wednesday.