Crime & Courts

Sedgwick County Jail deputy no longer employed after allegations of sex with former inmate

A Sedgwick County Jail deputy’s employment ended Friday amid allegations he had sex with a former inmate off jail property, Sheriff Jeff Easter said.

The deputy, a man in his 20s, was suspended from his duties with pay on Dec. 2l, after an internal investigation revealed he violated department policies by having sex with the woman, a convicted felon, Easter said.

The pair apparently met while the woman, in her 20s, was in jail; they maintained contact after her release, Easter said.

Another inmate alerted authorities to the relationship.

District Attorney’s Office ruled no criminal act had occurred, Easter said. The sheriff’s office followed with its own investigation.

Easter refused to say whether the deputy was fired or quit because “it’s an employee issue.” He called the relationship “unbecoming conduct that brings the sheriff’s office into disrepute.”

The disclosure came Wednesdays in what is expected to be the first of weekly news briefings, to be held at the Sedgwick County Detention Facility starting in March.

The meetings will be led by sheriff’s Lt. David Mattingly, who was recently appointed the office’s public information officer.

The role is in addition to his duties in the Special Projects Unit, Easter said. In another jailhouse sex allegation disclosed Wednesday, Easter said a female inmate falsely accused a male jail deputy of watching her shower. A criminal investigation revealed the woman voiced the allegations Feb. 18 while the deputy moved her to a disciplinary pod.

“The facts of this case reveal it did not take place,” Easter said of the allegation. “He was simply doing his job.”The woman filed the complaint under the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which addresses sexual assault of prisoners.

The incidents follow allegations last year of sexual misconduct between former Sedgwick County jail deputies and inmates inside jail walls. David Kendall is accused of sexually assaulting six inmates last spring and summer; James Harris Conklin is accused of fondling male inmates in October.

Also discussed Wednesday by Easter were:

The fight was gang-related, Easter said.

Six cases have been charged, Easter said; eight are pending.

In one incident, authorities found pills and methamphetamine on a 27-year-old woman arrested Jan. 9. She was charged with trafficking contraband into a penal institution, Easter said.

A 23-year-old man faced the same charge when he tried to sneak tobacco and other items into the jail after turning himself in on a parole violation Jan. 21. He put the contraband in a sock and tied it to his underwear, Easter said.

In an effort to minimize contraband, Easter said the jail is considering implementing an Internet-based system to facilitate visitation between inmates and their families.

Strip searches may also be re-implemented for some people booked, including felony offenders, Easter said.

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