Ex-SCI Cambridge Springs guard charged with inmate assault

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August 6—VERNON TOWNSHIP—A former Mercer County district attorney has been charged with sexually abusing an inmate at the State Correctional Institution in Cambridge Springs earlier this year.

Alexius D. Castro, 23, of Hermitage is charged by Pennsylvania state police in Meadville on one count of institutional assault for sexually touching the inmate at the women’s prison at 10 p.m. Jan. 28.

Police allege that Castro, who was a corrections officer at SCI Cambridge Springs at the time, sexually touched and kissed the detainee.

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SCI Cambridge Springs is one of two women’s prisons in Pennsylvania. It can house up to 1,068 inmates and has 355 full-time employees, according to the Department of Corrections (DOC) website. The prison opened in 1992 on the site of the former Alliance College of Cambridge Springs.

According to Maria Bivens, the department’s press secretary, Castro was an employee of the State Department of Corrections for about 18 months before being fired this year.

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Bivens said Castro was hired as a corrections officer intern at SCI Cambridge Springs on October 19, 2020, and then became corrections officer 1 in prison on October 19, 2021. Castro held that position until her resignation on April 11 of this year .

“She was not employed by the DOC at the time of her arraignment,” Bivens told The Meadville Tribune via email.

Bivens declined to comment on the cause of Castro’s resignation. “Personal information is not public,” she said in the email.

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Castro was indicted on a charge, a third-degree felony, late Friday morning before Magistrate District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver of Vernon Township.

Zilhaver released Castro on non-monetary bond. She has a preliminary hearing on the indictment on August 17 before Zilhaver.

If convicted, Castro could face up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at .

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