The first detention center worker ever to be convicted of institutional sexual assault, Daniel Sharkey was a long-term employee of the Berks Country Residential Center, a Pennsylvania-based site for families awaiting immigration-related court cases. “E.D.”, a 19-year-old Honduran asylum seeker, eventually ended up there with her 3-year-old son and Sharkey took a shine to her almost immediately. Already married, Sharkey pressured her into a relationship, threatening her whenever she refused his advances.
Other residents of the center were soon looped in, with another 22-year-old mother claiming she was forced to participate, acting as a “lookout” while Sharkey raped his victim. The assaults continued for months, including some occurrences in front of children, before overwhelming witness testimony, from seven different people, eventually forced the government to charge him. Sharkey himself maintains his innocence, claiming it was a consensual relationship the whole time.