New Indictment Adds 15th Officer in Edna Mahan Facility Inmate Assault Case

Morristown Minute
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Grand Jury Indicts 15th Corrections Officer on Conspiracy, Misconduct Charges in Inmate Assaults at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility.Photo byMorristown Minute

Sgt. Matthew Faschan faces multiple charges in a widening investigation into January 2021 incidents at New Jersey's women's prison.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) have announced a superseding indictment against Sgt. Matthew Faschan and 14 other corrections officers for their roles in the alleged assault of inmates at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in January 2021.

The grand jury's decision, dated November 17, 2023, escalates the legal response to events occurring in early 2021 at the facility in Union Township, Hunterdon County. This indictment extends to a total of 15 officers, including Faschan, 35, of Hackettstown, New Jersey, who faces charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, tampering with public records, and aggravated assault.

Details of the Incident:

The indictment stems from incidents during the night of January 11-12, 2021. Allegations suggest that inmates were forcibly removed from their cells, leading to serious injuries for two victims. These actions reportedly occurred during heightened tensions at the facility, following incidents involving inmates and officers.

Prosecutors allege a premeditated plan by the officers to use force, violating New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) policies. The officers are accused of not allowing inmates the opportunity to comply with orders, and in some instances, extracting them by force despite compliance.

Sgt. Faschan’s Alleged Role:

Specifically, Faschan is accused of failing to record certain extractions, not intervening or reporting the misuse of force, and filing a false report to mislead the DOC about the justification and nature of a victim's injuries.

The charges carry severe penalties, with conspiracy and official misconduct potentially leading to 5-10 years in prison and substantial fines. Tampering with public records and aggravated assault with serious bodily injury also entail significant prison time and fines.

Deputy Attorneys General Jeffrey J. Manis, Sherrod Smith, and Lisa Queen are leading the prosecution. The Corruption Bureau, OPIA Deputy Director, and OPIA Director oversee the case.

It is important to note that the charges are accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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