Guard accused of having sex with inmates – 2005

Guard accused of having sex with inmates
By Norman Miller / Daily News Staff
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

FRAMINGHAM — A prison guard accused of having sex with two female inmates at a minimum security institute in Framingham now faces charges, jail time and fines for the incidents.

Moises Ballista, 28, of Springfield was indicted on six counts of having sexual relations with an inmate, said Middlesex district attorney’s office spokeswoman Melissa Sherman yesterday.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred on various dates in 2003 and 2004 at the South Middlesex Correctional Center, a pre-release minimum security institute located next to MCI-Framingham.

Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said the incident is under investigation.

“We take the allegations very seriously,” said Wiffin. “It’s an abuse of the power and authority invested in us as law enforcement officials.”

Ballista has been “detached,” or suspended, with pay since the allegations came to light in May, 2004, Wiffin said.

Sherman said the DOC discovered the “inappropriate sexual relations” with the two inmates and began an internal investigation.

The Middlesex district attorney’s office was informed of the incidents in September 2004. After an investigation, Ballista was indicted on Friday, Sherman said.

The names and the ages of the victims were not released. It is not known if the women are still incarcerated.

It is a crime in Massachusetts for a prison guard to have sex with inmates.

Ballista faces up to five years in state prison for each count if he is convicted and/or a $10,000 fine.

Wiffin said she could not say how long Ballista has worked as a correction officer, or at what other facilities he has worked, citing personnel privacy.

Ballista could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The DOC, Wiffin said, investigates all such incidents completely.

“This is serious misconduct, and we take it seriously,” she said.

Ballista is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge on April 11.

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