James Wronko represented Brian Ambroise, a senior correction officer at Edna Mahon Correctional Facility, in his trial for conspiring with fellow senior correction officer Ronald Coleman to allow Coleman to sexually assault two female inmates. Edna Mahon is the only State Prison for women inmates in New Jersey.
After a week-long trial before a jury in Hunterdon County, Brian Ambroise was found not guilty on all counts.
The trial of Ronald Coleman was severed from that of Ambroise, for legal reasons, and will take place later in the year.
Both inmates testified that Officer Ambroise was the “cage” officer at North Hall, a maximum unit in the prison and he allowed Coleman and the inmates into a secured office area that could be accessed only via the cage. The inmates testified that they engaged in consensual (but still illegal) sexual activities with Coleman, including sexual intercourse and oral sex (Fellatio).
The inmates testified that during the “count” they were allowed out of their cells by Coleman and Ambroise let them off their wing and into the cage area and the secured back office area. The office is a private area for officers only, except when the inmates are cleaning it. Ironically the inmates are responsible for cleaning the entire prison. They were joined by Coleman and engaged in sexual relations. During the “count” all inmates are locked in their cells and the officers check to make sure all inmates are accounted for. They do not roam around during count time.
In addition, members of the prosecutor’s office and the Special Investigation Division (SID) with the Department of Corrections also testified regarding jail procedures and the investigation of the officers.
Finally, Officer Ambroise testified that if Coleman had sex with either of the female inmates he was unaware of his activities. Ambroise further testified that the inmates were not being truthful when they testified they were in the secured office, during “Count”, when all inmates in the facility are accounted for.
He testified that he never let an inmate into the cage and back in that office during count. All inmates were locked in their cells when he was on duty.
Officer Ambroise is looking forward to returning to work after having been suspended without pay during the long proceedings.
He is relieved that these false accusations are finally behind him.