Former guard assaulted Adams County prison inmate, DA alleges

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A former Adams County prison guard will be criminally charged for allegedly pepper-spraying an inmate for no reason, according to county District Attorney Brian Sinnett.

Nicholas Sekela, 54, of Gettysburg, will be charged with the second-degree misdemeanors of simple assault and official oppression and the summary offense of harassment.

He is accused of assaulting inmate Elijah Clark-Bream of Hanover.

Sinnett described it as an isolated incident by a rogue employee.

A court summons on the charges was mailed to Sekela on Monday, Aug. 19, according to court records. That means he has not yet been arraigned on the charges or had bail set.

State police filed the charges on Monday, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 2, records state.

Sekela is no longer a correctional officer with the Adams County Adult Correctional Complex, according to Sinnett's news release. The facility is located in Straban Township, just outside Gettysburg.

A message left on Sekela's voicemail was not returned on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

State police noted in documents that multiple attempts by investigators to reach Sekela were unsuccessful.

Charging documents allege Sekela walked up to Clark-Bream, who was handcuffed, about 11:15 a.m. April 27 in Cellblock 2A and pepper-sprayed the inmate, who was standing there calmly.

Clark-Bream was standing there at the direction of another correctional officer, documents state.

After being sprayed in the face, Clark-Bream didn't react and continued to stand calmly, state police said.

Then Sekela pepper-sprayed the inmate in the face a second time, causing Clark-Bream to fall to the floor, according to charging documents.

Adams County jail Warden Katey Hileman alerted state police to the incident on May 2 and provided them with security footage, police said.

The footage shows that Clark-Bream wasn't resisting, wasn't trying to hurt himself or anyone else and wasn't trying to escape, charging documents state.

Clark-Bream, 25, pleaded guilty in Adams County Court on Aug. 5 to making terroristic threats and was sentenced to one to two years in state prison.

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As part of his negotiated plea agreement, charges of aggravated assault and being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm were withdrawn, court records state.

In York County, Bream pleaded guilty Feb. 8 to burglarizing a Hanover home and was sentenced to 2½ to six years in state prison, according to court records.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.