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Former Nassau Corrections Officer Receives Maximum Sentence for Extorting Sexual Favors from Female Inmates

Mark Barber, 50, of Levittown was sentenced to 5 1/3 years in prison.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced on Wednesday that a former Nassau County Corrections Officer was sentenced to 5 1/3 years in prison after being convicted of 30 counts stemming from the use of his position at the Nassau County Correctional Center to extort sexual favors from female inmates.

In August, Mark Barber, 50, of Levittown, was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual acts, two counts of second-degree receiving reward for official misconduct, 18 counts of official misconduct, seven counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of forcible touching.

Rice said that from approximately August 2007 to March 2009, Barber, who was a grievance officer for the Nassau County Correctional Center’s female inmate population, engaged in various ongoing, inappropriate relationships with female inmates.

According to Rice, Barber targeted women who had histories of drug abuse, prostitution or mental health treatment. The relationships ranged from providing cigarettes and private phone calls to engaging in various levels of sexual activity with the inmates, Rice said.

Barber began his tenure as a corrections officer at the County Jail in December 1987. He began serving as a grievance officer in December 2005 and was fired in December of 2009.

The DA’s Office and the Nassau County Correctional Center Internal Affairs Unit began investigating Barber in March 2009 after a female inmate said that Barber tried to kiss her while she was assigned to a work detail under his supervision.

“Today’s sentence sends the message that public corruption in any form will not be tolerated in Nassau County and guarantees that this defendant will now experience prison life from the other side of a cell door,” Rice said.

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