Albion CO who pled guilty to sex crimes found dead day before sentencing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 October 2020 at 8:48 am

ALBION – A former corrections officer who was to be sentenced in Orleans County Court on Wednesday was found deceased at his home the day before he was due in court.

James W. Castonguay, 30, of Amherst pleaded guilty in Orleans County Court on Aug. 6 and could have been sentenced to time in the county jail and on probation.

Castonguay worked at the Albion Correctional Facility, a women’s prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sex act against two different female inmates. He admitted in court to forcing two inmates to give him oral sex while he was working at the prison.

Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone formally dismissed the charges in court on Wednesday, which is the norm when a defendant dies before a case is concluded.

Castonguay was charged in September 2019 by the State Police with third-degree criminal sexual act, official misconduct and third-degree rape.

Castonguay also was one of several corrections officers named in a $25 million federal lawsuit that alleges cover-ups of rape and sexual assault reports at Albion Correctional, Bedford Hills, Lakeview Shock Correctional and Taconic Correctional.

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