Lemon Creek officer fired following sexual allegations

State troopers investigate claims of inappropriate conduct with an inmate

Posted: Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A Lemon Creek Correctional Center officer was dismissed Monday amid allegations that he had engaged in sexual activity with a female inmate.

Lemon Creek Superintendent Daniel Carothers said that after an investigation into the matter, "the ultimate administrative action" was taken against the officer. He referred the matter to Alaska State Troopers, who will investigate the case for possible sexual assault charges. Trooper Sgt. David Tracy in Juneau said Monday the matter remains under investigation.

Carothers said his office cannot do any more than dismiss the officer. He would not release the names of the officer or inmate involved.

Portia Parker, deputy commissioner of the Alaska Department of Corrections, said prison officials acted quickly in investigating the allegations. Carothers first received information concerning the officer and an inmate Sept. 26, and he interviewed the inmate before reporting the matter to troopers, she said.

The troopers said they received the information that evening.

Carothers said the extent of the alleged sexual contact will determine whether the investigation concerns a possible felony third-degree sexual assault charge or a possible misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault charge.

According to state law, sexual contact is prohibited between correctional officers and inmates. Consent would not be an issue for third- or fourth-degree sexual assault charges.

Parker said the dismissed officer had been with the department for six years. The dismissal was based solely on the department's internal personnel investigation, she said.

She said she did not know whether the officer had any responsibilities that involved the inmate with whom he is accused of having sexual relations.

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

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