Saturday, September 6, 2008

Utah jail guard charged with sexually assaulting inmate

A woman jail guard was charged with 2 counts of custodial sexual misconduct September 2 for having sexual contact with an inmate at a St. George, UT jail. Stephanie Lynn Alldredge, 35, was sexually involved with another female inmate on work release, and the sexual contact happened off-site. Alldredge worked as a civilian employee and a correctional trainee in the Purgatory Correctional Facility.

St. George Police Sgt. James Van Fleet said that the inmate was allowed to go home to wash jail uniforms as laundry, and that twice in August, the two women had sexual contact. The sexual relationship was believed to be consensual.

"It's because of her (Alldredge) status at the jail and because the inmate was an inmate of the county that makes the conduct illegal…If someone is on paper in the state of Utah, it's against the law for anyone employed by law enforcement to have a relationship with that person."

Another correctional employee reported it to Alldregdge’s boss, and she resigned during the midst of an internal investigation on August 22. The inmate was suspended from work release.

Van Fleet said the civilian staff members at the jail are extremely limited to what access they have in the facility, and it was a correctional officer who noticed that there might have been something going on between Alldredge and the inmate.

Sheriff Kirk Smith said the correctional officer confronted Alldredge and went to her supervisor in the chain of command.

"This kind of behavior will not be tolerated, and consequences will be swift," he said. "These types of things we teach and we preach not to do, but it still falls back on individual employees making good decisions."

Smith said he wants the jail employees to know he is proud of them for acting when they recognized the alleged relationship.

Alldredge will make her 1st court appearance September 22.

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