Ex-guard dies day before sentencing

ALBION — A former prison guard named in a federal lawsuit regarding sexual assaults against women prisoners died a day before he was to be sentenced in Orleans County Court.

James W. Castonguay, 30, of Amherst was to appear Wednesday to face sentencing for third-degree criminal sexual act. He had pleaded guilty in August, with the promise of a sentence of no more than six months in jail and 10 years probation.

Castonguay, however, was found dead in his home Tuesday.

Castonguay was arrested in September 2019 and charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, four counts of official misconduct and two counts of third-degree rape.

He was accused of having sexual relations with two inmates, including having sex with one in a laundry room at Albion Correctional Facility.

Castonguay is one of two former guards named in a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The suit alleges the officers and their colleagues “had a system of warning each other if a supervisor was approaching and created a climate of fear and intimidation against any women who complained about sexual attention from an officer,”

The other officer from Albion, David Stupnick, 26, of Medina was arrested in May 2019 and charged with four counts of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of criminal sexual act and official misconduct.

He pleaded guilty in December to one count of third-degree criminal sexual act and was sentenced in February to six months in jail and 10 years probation.

The federal lawsuit also names 16 other officers who worked at Bedford Hills, Taconic and Lakeview correctional facilities.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1