A group of prisoners prevented another inmate from raping a female correction officer at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail complex.
According to the New York Daily News, the woman was set upon by 27-year-old Raleek Young after he trapped her in a locked guard watch room on Saturday night.
Young, who is serving a five to 10 year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl in 2007, reportedly gained access to the room by saying he needed to walk through to pick up a mattress.
The 5 ft 9 convict, who weighs 290 pounds, reportedly grabbed the officer and dragged her into a nearby bathroom, where he pulled down his trousers and began masturbating while choking her.
But fortunately a group of inmates came to her rescue, helping other prison guards to tear off the room's Plexiglas so that a smaller inmate could slip through and open the security door.
Correction Officers' Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook said: "I appreciate (them) helping a sister officer because that could have been their mother, wife or sister."
A source told the Daily News that the majority of the attack was captured on film. An investigation is now underway.
Meanwhile, Young was arraigned on Monday at the Bronx Criminal Court. He faces new charges including attempted rape, sexual abuse and assault.
The incident is just the latest in a series of damning reports about Rikers Island. In August last year an inquiry by the United States Attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, found that there was a "deep-seated culture of violence" at the prison, with young male inmates systematically subjected to brutal treatment by correction officers.
At the time, Seabrook told the New York Times that he welcomed suggestions for reform but that sometimes aggression was necessary.
"There may be a few that react with what you might think is excessive force, but in defence of an officer being assaulted by an inmate, a correction officer must use whatever force is necessary to terminate the assault," he said.