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FATHER-SON CORRECTIONS OFFICERS FACE CHARGES IN ALBION SEXUAL-CONTACT CASE

A father and son, both corrections officers at the Albion Correctional Facility, were arrested Wednesday night after the son had sexual contact with an 18-year-old inmate and the father threatened her if she cooperated with authorities, State Police investigators reported.

Aaron S. Sklener, 33, of Barnum Road, Akron, was charged with two misdemeanors -- second-degree sexual abuse and official misconduct.

His father, James F. Sklener, of Genesee Street, Corfu, was charged with felony third-degree intimidating a victim or witness and misdemeanor official misconduct.

Aaron Sklener has been an corrections officer for six years, his father for 19 years.

This is the second time in two weeks that corrections officers at the medium-security prison for women have ended up on the wrong side of the law.

On March 19, Robert Greiner, 36, of Simms Road, Lockport, was among 25 people arrested in an operation targeting a multimillion-dollar cocaine and methamphetamine drug ring.

Greiner, described as a key cocaine distributor, was charged with possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more cocaine and 500 grams of methamphetamine, plus conspiracy.

Linda Foglia, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Correctional Services in Albany, said Thursday that the Skleners have been suspended without pay and corrections authorities are seeking to fire them.

She said Greiner, a corrections officer for 5 1/2 years, was on an unpaid leave of absence at the time of his drug arrest and has failed to return telephone calls from the department so officials can take action against him.

"Any inappropriate conduct, whether on or off duty, is simply unacceptable," Foglia said. "Any staff involved in any wrongdoing will face departmental charges, and we will strongly support their criminal prosecution."

Investigator Michael Notto and Darryl O'Shei of the State Police Criminal Investigation Bureau and officers of the Department of Correctional Services inspector general's office investigated the Skleners.

Aaron Sklener is accused of contact with the inmate early this month in a dormitory of the prison where he was supervising.

"He touched her in an intimate area," Notto said. "Because she is incarcerated, she can't consent to any sexual acts with a corrections officer. . . . She came forward, and so did other inmates."

When Sklener's father learned about the investigation, troopers said he began threatening the woman.

"He called her into the hallway and made threats in an attempt to coerce her into not cooperating with the investigation," Notto said. "He made threats implying that if she cooperated, he would retaliate against her."

The Skleners were arrested at about 7:30 p.m. at their homes. Aaron Sklener was arraigned in Albion Town Court and released on his own recognizance, while his father was issued an appearance ticket. Both are due back in court April 21.

e-mail: vthomas@buffnews.com

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