New York (CBSNewYork) — Matthew Matagrano sneaked into at least five New York City jails and prisons earlier this year, prosecutors said. Now, he’ll spend 10 years inside one as an inmate.
The 37-year-old sex offender was sentenced Thursday for posing as a Department of Corrections investigator, illegally gaining access to a jail and sexually assaulting an inmate, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
In February, Matagrano, of Yonkers, used a phony Department of Corrections badge to infiltrate the jails, including Rikers Island and the Manhattan Detention Center, also known as The Tombs, prosecutors said. Once inside, he allegedly roamed at will, chatted with inmates, handed out cigarettes and visited with security officials while stealing $5,000 worth of their equipment, including a $2,500 walkie-talkie. Matagrano also admitted to groping an inmate during a strip search at The Tombs.
He was finally caught while pretending to be a corrections officer in the Bronx.
Matagrano pleaded guilty in July to the top charges in two separate indictments in connection with infiltrating The Tombs — second-degree burglary and second-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony.
“Using a fake badge to enter a city jail has landed a real criminal in state prison,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. “Impersonating a law enforcement official is not only unlawful, it poses unacceptable dangers in today’s world.”
Matagrano already has a rap sheet that includes a 1996 conviction for sodomy and sexual abuse with a male victim under the age of 17. He is listed on the state’s sex offender registry.
He had previously been caught posing as a Board of Education worker to enter two schools and rifle through student files. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in connection with that case.
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