Police: Immigration detainee at York County Prison sexually assaulted cellmate

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York County Prison Monday, Jun3 10, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

A former immigration detainee who was held in York County Prison earlier this year is now accused of sexually assaulting his cellmate while choking the man into unconsciousness.

State police filed charges against Clifford Kamau Ibirithi on Wednesday, Nov. 6. He has not been arraigned and is no longer being held in York County, officials said.

He could not be reached for comment, and it's unclear whether he has retained an attorney. Because he was an immigration detainee and technically in federal custody, the county prison isn't allowed to release his mugshot, officials said.

Ibirithi, 34, now of the 2000 block of 86th Street East in Tacoma, Washington, is charged with the felonies of sexual assault, strangulation, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, assault by prisoner and aggravated harassment by prisoner, according to court records. He also is charged with the second-degree misdemeanor of simple assault.

His alleged victim told investigators that Ibirithi had moved into his cell two days prior to the reported assault, police said.

The cellmate said he woke up to use the bathroom the night of Feb. 21 "and felt pressure around his neck and related it was a chokehold," charging documents state.

The cellmate said he lost consciousness shortly after Ibirithi anally penetrated him, documents allege.

Awoke on floor: The cellmate said he was unconscious for two or three minutes and that when he woke up, he was suffering from rectal pain and was lying on the floor with his pants off, charging documents state.

The prison called police after the cellmate passed a note to a correctional officer, police said.

In a Feb. 28 interview with state police, Ibirithi claimed any sexual contact was consensual, charging documents indicate.

Investigators reviewed medial records in March, which showed the alleged victim suffered bruises on his leg, behind his left ear and on the side of his neck, as well as multiple lacerations and abrasions around his rectum, documents state.

He also suffered hemorrhaging in his eyes, police said. That can be a sign of strangulation.

Testing determined Ibirithi's DNA matched that of fluids collected from his cellmate, documents allege.

Ibirithi's case is inactive for now. Presiding District Judge Barry Bloss Jr. has issued a warrant for the man's arrest.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.