NEWARK, NJ — Two corrections officers have been charged with falsifying records while on the job at the Essex County Correctional Facility, located on Doremus Avenue in Newark, according to a Jan. 6 press release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Raymond Distasi, 52, of Roxbury, has been charged with one count of tampering with public records, a third-degree offense. It is alleged that Distasi, who was working from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on March 17 and 18, knowingly made false entries in the jail logbook indicating that he had made rounds in the jail when surveillance video evidence showed he did not make the required rounds, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Apostolou, who is handling the case. His alleged failure to make the required rounds came to light when there was an in-custody death investigation.
Quasi Cary, 30, of Newark, has also been charged with tampering with public records for knowingly making false entries in the jail logbook indicating he performed the required rounds on Dec. 2, 2018, throughout his shift from 2 to 10 p.m. It is alleged that surveillance footage during the shift shows he did not make the tours listed in the logbook, said Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Albu, who is handling the case. In that case, the failure to make the required rounds came to light when an inmate was assaulted.
“The defendants had a duty to ensure the safety and security of inmates under their care. Their failure to conduct required checks on inmates is inexcusable. Lying to conceal that failure is criminal conduct that will not be tolerated,” Albu said.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Bureau with the assistance of the Essex County Correctional Facility Internal Affairs Unit.
These are accusations; all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.