State correction officer charged with having sex with inmate
Lawyer for alleged victim calls the guard’s actions a ‘romance scam’
A FORMER state correction officer pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of having sexual relations with an inmate.
Charlotte Ferro, who worked at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, was arraigned in Clinton District Court on one count of a prison guard having sexual relations with a prisoner. She pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance, with orders to stay away from the alleged victim and have no indirect contact with him.
Ferro’s attorney, Blake Rubin, said he would not comment on the facts of the case outside of the courtroom. “At this point, all we can say is Ms. Ferro adamantly denies the charges and is very much looking froward to her day in court,” Rubin said.
Souza-Baranowski, the state’s only maximum-security prison for sentenced male inmates, has been a hotspot for trouble in the state corrections system. In January 2020, it was the site of an assault on correction officers by inmates. In a class-action lawsuit filed in January of this year, prisoner advocates charge that following the melee inmates were subjected to weeks of “unprovoked, retaliatory violence.”
According to state payroll records, Ferro worked for the Department of Correction from 2019 to 2021.
A department spokesperson said the agency investigates every allegation of staff misconduct that is brought to its attention, and Ferro has not worked for the agency since March 8, 2021. The spokesperson referred additional questions to the Worcester County district attorney’s office.
The Worcester District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the substance of the allegations.
The alleged victim is in prison for raping a teenage girl. CommonWealth is not naming him because he is an alleged victim of sexual assault in the current case.
Swomley claims that Ferro tried to groom the prisoner and exploit him for financial gain, because he has a civil lawsuit pending that could result in a financial settlement.
Swomley identified the alleged victim as a former foster child who was horrifically abused by his foster and adoptive parents, Susan and Raymond Blouin. The couple and Susan Blouin’s boyfriend were criminally charged for the abuse and pleaded guilty. Additional charges against them are pending, according to court documents. Four former foster children, including the man involved in this case, sued the Department of Children and Families, several DCF employees, and the Blouins in Middlesex Superior Court. The lawsuit is pending and has gotten some media attention.
Swomley alleged that Ferro perpetrated a “romance scam.” “He engaged with her in what he thought was a romantic relationship but was really a con game from her end of things,” Swomley said.
State law prohibits a prison employee from engaging in sexual relations with an inmate, regardless of consent.