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Seneca Co. Correction Officers Arrested for Rape, Sex Acts

FingerLakes1.com Friday, October 23, 2009 @ 5:15 pm Seneca County Sheriff Jack S. Stenberg announced today the arrest of two Seneca County Correction Officers. Sheriff Stenberg reported Correction Officers Francis A. Steen, age 34, of 1509 Prospect Street, Savannah, New York, a four year employee of the Sheriff’s Office and Shawn C. Hall, age 32, of 110 State Street, Seneca Falls, New York, a three year employee of the Sheriff’s Office were arrested earlier today after a criminal investigation conducted by Seneca County Sheriff’s Investigators. On October 14, 2009, Hall was assigned to the Central Control Unit, the most secure area of the Seneca County Correctional Facility At about 10:20 a.m.; Hall was joined in Central Control Unit by Steen and a short time later by a female civilian correctional staff employee. It is alleged that Steen in the presence of Hall engaged in a non-consensual sex act with the female employee and at the same time Hall also engaged in a non-consensual sex act within the confines of the Central Control Unit. Other Corrections staff members on duty within the facility at the time had no idea what was occurring within this highly secure area of the Correctional Facility The Sheriff’s administration first learned of the alleged incident on Monday, October 19, 2009 and immediately commenced two separate investigations, one criminal and one internal. Sheriff’s investigators developed and gathered enough evidence within 24 hours for the Sheriff to relieve Hall and Steen from duty and suspend both without pay. Working jointly with the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office, the criminal charges against Hall and Steen were lodged today and both were arrested by Sheriff’s investigators. Hall and Steen will be served with notice of departmental disciplinary charges resulting from the internal departmental investigation with the Sheriff seeking termination from employment. Said Stenberg “There are no words I can find to express the horror, shame and lawless conduct exhibited by these two employees’. The actions of these two Corrections Officer’s and the discredit they bring to the honest hard working men and women of this Office, who everyday come to work and put their lives on the line protecting the people of Seneca County is disgusting and reprehensible.” Stenberg continued “We will not let the actions of these two rogue Officers who felt they were above the law go unpunished. I will use everything within the power of my Office to ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and terminated from employment. They should never be allowed to work in any law enforcement agency in the United States again.” “When I took Office as Sheriff, less than two years ago, I made a vow and commitment to the residents of Seneca County and employees of the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office that I would rid the Office of employees who felt they were above the law or did not exhibit our values of professionalism and service to community”, said Stenberg. “Although past administrations may not have held employees to a higher standard of conduct or punished those who failed to follow the Rules, Regulations, Policies of this Office or New York State Law, this administration will not tolerate such disregard for irresponsible behavior. In less than two years, my administration has criminally arrested four employees, including the two Officers today; terminated four employees’s and severely disciplined several more. Other internal investigations are on-going” continued the Sheriff. “The cleansing process is difficult for all of us to bear and this takes time, however, when completed we will have a Sheriff’s Office we all can be proud of.” We will continue to be diligent in our efforts to promote a professional and competent law enforcement agency” commented Sheriff Stenberg. “The public needs to know and have confidence that the vast majority of the members of this Office are hard working dedicated professionals who each and every day put on a uniform and come to work fighting crime in Seneca County. I am proud of the work they do and honored to call each of them – true professionals. Professional’s, who have had to deal with the public ridicule and criticism and aftermath of the bad decisions by a few. I am confident that our professionals will endure this latest embarrassment, become stronger and continue to serve the Citizens of Seneca County. Charges: Francis A Steen Rape in the third degree, a class E Felony Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor Unlawful Imprisonment in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor Charges: Shawn C Hall Criminal Sexual Act in the third degree, a class E felony Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor Unlawful Imprisonment in the second degree, a class A Misdemeanor Steen and Hall were arraigned before Judge D. E. Greule in the Town of Romulus Court and committed to the Seneca County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1,500.00 cash or $3,000.00 bond. Judge Greule ordered Steen and Hall to surrender any personal firearms to the Sheriff’s Office. Orders of protection were issued by the Court. They remain suspended from duty without pay. The female civilian employee is currently on administrative leave with pay.

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