NEWARK, NJ - A corrections officer has been charged with sexual assault after having a relationship with an inmate at an Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark. 

Avril D. Richardson, 45, of Elizabeth has been charged with second-degree sexual assault for engaging in sexual conduct with an inmate at Northern State Prison, where she was employed as a senior correctional police officer, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday at her home in Elizabeth. She was detained at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark but was scheduled to be released on Friday, according to Assistant Prosecutor Jessica L. Apostolou, who is handling the case.

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According to authorities, it is alleged that starting in 2016 until her arrest, Richardson had an ongoing romantic relationship with the victim. The relationship came to light based on an investigation conducted by the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigations Division. Working in concert with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Professional Standards Bureau, Richardson was arrested and charged. She is due back in court on Jan. 11, 2019 before the Honorable Mark S. Ali, Judge of the Superior Court.


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