A former federal prison guard from Huntington Station was sentenced Wednesday to 1 year and 1 day in prison for having sex with a death-row inmate jailed for killing two undercover NYPD detectives.
The defendant, Nancy Gonzalez, 30, gave birth to the son of death-row inmate Ronell Wilson last March.
Prosecutors, defense attorneys and U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan all agreed Wednesday that Gonzalez had psychiatric problems. They used the word "horrible" to describe the sexual abuse she endured growing up, much of it at the hands of her own family members.
"Everyone seems to agree that she is someone who doesn't quite see things the way other people see things," said Cogan, in federal court in Brooklyn.
He said that while Gonzalez might have been manipulated by Wilson, "there are manipulative aspects to her character as well."
He said the crime went far beyond having sex with a prisoner. She left prisoners unguarded, put Wilson in a position to take her keys to the cells, and once turned her back while Wilson beat an inmate, Cogan said.
Gonzalez has until April 2 to surrender at a federal jail other than the lower Manhattan facility where she worked in 2012 while Wilson awaited retrial on the death-penalty portion of his 2003 conviction for murdering Dets. James Nemorin of Baldwin Harbor and Rodney Andrews of Middle Village. Another jury imposed the death penalty again last year.
Gonzalez told prosecutors during a plea-bargaining session that she intended to have a child with Wilson. She was later heard in a tape-recorded conversation telling another person she thought it would help him avoid another death penalty sentence because the child would "show he's not a monster . . . it's going to get him out of death row."
Gonzalez lost custody of her infant son months after his birth when a Family Court judge in Suffolk County ruled she had substance abuse problems and neglected the child.
Cogan told Gonzalez she might have to register as a sex offender after her release from prison. She said she understood. Gonzalez pleaded guilty last July.The sentence of an additional day on top of the one year in prison allows Gonzalez to accumulate "good time" and become eligible for parole after serving 85 percent of her sentence, according to federal rules.
She wept as she told the judge she accepted responsibility for her crime.
"I held a position of public trust and I betrayed that trust," she said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Celia Cohen said Gonzalez had admitted her guilt, but said she had never expressed remorse. The prosecutor had submitted a pre-sentencing memo that said Gonzalez told Wilson in a tape-recorded conversation last July 1 that "not for a moment do I regret any of what happened."