Predator and Prey

A guard sexually assaults a thief. You'll pick up the tab.

William Wyland Esperidio Quinones
William Wyland (left) says Esperidio Quinones threatened to beat him if he didn't do as he said. - Cleveland Police Department
William Wyland (left) says Esperidio Quinones threatened to beat him if he didn't do as he said.
William Wyland has the sort of pretty-boy features that make middle-aged gay men melt. Sometimes it works to the 26-year-old's benefit. Sometimes it doesn't.

Take the wee hours of last June 21. Wyland, a Pennsylvania native, was in town visiting his sister when he and his buddy, Rafael Correa, decided to enjoy the summer's eve by making the rounds at the West Side gay bars.

At Bounce, they were approached by a middle-aged man who offered to buy them drinks. As the threesome sipped various vodka concoctions, Wyland worked his magic on the suitor.

"He made me feel comfortable," says the man, who spoke to Scene on the condition that his name not be used. "He was real friendly. He had a very calm, soft demeanor. He had a very good game going."

The man invited the two back to his place, where he began to undress. "He thought we were going to do him favors," Wyland says.

Instead, Wyland pinned the man down and called him a "whore," according to a police report. The man struggled to break free. He knocked off Wyland's baseball cap, revealing his prematurely bald head. "We kind of stopped and stared at each other for a second," the man says. "And then he just snapped. That's when he became violently aggressive."

Wyland slapped him, then left with his pants, wallet, and $400. "Remember, we're only 16!" Wyland laughed before departing.

"I was gonna just let them go, because I didn't want to make a scene," says the man, who fears for his small business if customers find out about his sex life. "But when he said that, that's when I knew I hadn't been their first victim. And I was gonna damn well make sure I was the last. So I called the cops."

Wyland and Correa were quickly arrested and taken to the Sixth District jail.

It wasn't Wyland's first visit to the slammer. In 2002, he was busted for disorderly conduct. Two years later, he was nabbed in Cleveland for theft and identity fraud.

Wyland remained in jail for the next five days as police investigated. That's where he found another admirer: guard Esperidio Quinones.

One morning around 2 a.m., the lights in Wyland's cell suddenly came on, and Quinones appeared. It was time to take a shower, he said.

As Quinones escorted the inmate, he asked if Wyland was gay. "I like to get head," the guard mentioned in his thick Puerto Rican accent.

Wyland says he was startled by the 59-year-old's directness. "I was a little scared," he says. "I was just wondering what he was going to do."

Quinones did nothing -- until they headed back to the cell. That's when he told Wyland to suck him off. Either that, or he would get a beatdown. "He told me the cameras were off, and if I didn't do what he said, he was gonna have others come into my cell and force me," says Wyland. "I said no way. It was resistance the whole time."

But Wyland says fear won out. He was soon on his knees, Quinones' hands gripping the back of his skull.

When it was over, Wyland spit the semen into his shoes. He knew it would be his only proof of the encounter.

Quinones zipped up and marched away before returning with a piece of candy, an extra mattress, and some milk.

A few days later, Wyland told a cop passing his cell about the incident. The proof was in his semen-lined shoes.

The officer passed the evidence to Internal Affairs, and Wyland was shipped away for a rape exam. Quinones denied the encounter.

But by August, DNA proved otherwise. The guard was arrested and was indicted.

In the meantime, Wyland was dealing with his own legal problems. He'd been indicted for aggravated theft, robbery, and assault. Wyland sat in jail for four months until finally pleading guilty to theft and assault.

Then, on January 30, Quinones' trial arrived. He no longer denied the encounter. Instead, he claimed he'd been seduced. "He came onto me and then turned the story around," Quinones says.

The guard "claimed it was just a handjob," says Wyland's lawyer, John Chambers. "He claims he was the one that was sexually molested."

But Judge Timothy McMonagle wasn't buying it. He found Quinones guilty of gross sexual imposition. Though the guard walked away with probation, he was forced to resign from the Cleveland Police and was labeled a sexually oriented offender.

In March, Wyland filed a federal suit against Quinones and the city, seeking $50,000 for emotional distress. He is also accusing the city of negligence, claiming it didn't properly supervise Quinones. "I'm truly incensed about this," says Chambers. "This happened under the city's watch, and no one wants to take any responsibility for it." (City spokeswoman Andrea Taylor said she could not comment about ongoing litigation.)

There's little doubt the city will end up paying something. But to the original victim in the case, Wyland and Quinones deserve each other. "He is a professional at manipulating people into getting what he wants," he says of Wyland. "He found a weak link in that jail and used him to his purpose."

When told of the lawsuit, the man scoffs. "Then maybe I should sue him and claim the same thing. He's no victim."

Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.