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Former corrections officer charged with assaulting inmate

Posted: Friday, May 07, 2004

A man dismissed from his job at Lemon Creek Correctional Center last fall now faces a charge of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Donald L. Coke, 35, was indicted last week by a grand jury on one count of third-degree sexual assault. Indictments were made public after they were reviewed by a judge this week.

The complaint alleges that Coke engaged in sexual activity with a person committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections while he was employed with the agency.

Alaska law defines such actions as third-degree sexual assault, regardless of whether the parties consented. A person convicted of the felony could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The offense was alleged to have occurred between June 17 and Sept. 20.

Department of Corrections Deputy Commissioner Portia Parker said Thursday that Coke was the officer she had reported was dismissed in October. At that time his name was not released.

In October, she told the Empire the officer had been with the department for six years and that his dismissal was based solely on the department's internal personnel investigation.

Alaska State Troopers reported that Lemon Creek Superintendent Daniel Carothers received a report concerning activity between the officer and the inmate on Sept. 26.

Parker said in October that Carothers had interviewed the officer and the inmate. Along with taking administrative action, the investigation was turned over to troopers to investigate possible criminal charges.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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