Russell County investigation reveals sexual misconduct in jail - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Russell County investigation reveals sexual misconduct between officers and inmates

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

An anonymous tip sparkedan internal investigation at the Russell County Sheriff Office Monday. The tip allegedvery foul behavior between three corrections officers and female inmates.

Sheriff Heath Taylor saidthe investigation led to the Wednesday arrest of Jacob Brent Phelps and JamesL. Blain and termination of Charles Tarver.

At least one inmate has confirmedshe had sexual contact with both Blain and Phelps, who have been working at theprison ranging from three months to five years.

Taylor said he believesthe inappropriate behavior has been going on for a couple of months. Taylor wouldnot elaborate on the type of contact the trio had with each other but didcomment it did not include sexual intercourse.

According to Taylor, someof the inappropriate behavior has been caught on surveillance camerasthroughout the jail.

Tarver, a 10 year veteranat the jail was terminated from his duties after allegations of improper sexualconversation with inmates arose.

Taylor said all three menconfessed to the allegation against them Wednesday.  Several company policieswere violated, said Taylor.

Although by law, male correctionofficers can search and or have primary custody of female inmates they prohibitit at the jail, Taylor said.  

Taylor explained since theinvestigation they have reviewed their current policies to see how they canfurther prevent something like this from happening in the future.

"The reality is there'snot a whole lot [we can change in the current policy]; we have everything inplace. This goes on in every facility in the country. The difference is howthat facility handles it," said Taylor.

Taylor said both men arecharged with felony sexual misconduct with an inmate which carries a maximum of10 years in prison, Taylor said.

Phelps and Blain werereleased on $10,000 bond shortly after their arrest.

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