Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Hampshire ex guard sentenced to 13 to 26 years

By PAT GROSSMITH New Hampshire Union Leader Staff Friday, Sep. 12, 2008

CONCORD – A former prison guard was sentenced to 13-26 years for sexually assaulting two women inmates being treated in the Secure Psychiatric Unit (SPU) at the New Hampshire State Prison.

Darrell Brinkley, 53, of Antrim, pleaded guilty today in Merrimack County Superior Court to one count each of aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, simple assault, extended term, and one count of indecent exposure. He was sentenced to the State Prison although a prosecutor said he will likely be transferred to an out-of-state prison.

Assistant Attorney General James T. Boffetti said the sentence provided some relief to the victims.

"These women were in an extraordinarily vulnerable position in that they were psychiatric patients," Boffetti said. "This office takes these matters very seriously and will vigorously prosecute them."

The state Department of Corrections fired Brinkley in 2005 but then he went to Iraq with his Naval Reserve Unit where he worked as a prison guard. Boffetti said the military was notified of the indictments when they were issued last year."They brought him back very quickly," he said.

Brinkley was originally indicted on 11 charges involving three women inmates. He pleaded guilty to four - two felonies and two misdemeanors - alleging he assaulted two women inmates. The remaining charges were dismissed, Boffetti said.

The sentence was imposed by Judge Carol Ann Conboy and included a 2 to 5-year suspended sentence on the misdemeanor offenses to be served consecutively.

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