YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsJail

Guard accused of sex with inmate

March 20, 2001

Guard accused of sex with inmate


A correctional officer at the Washington County Detention Center charged with having sex with a female inmate resigned Tuesday, according to Sheriff Charles Mades.

Michael A. Garner, 35, of Hagerstown was charged with one count of correctional employee sex offense, a misdemeanor.

The charge is specifically related to sexual intercourse between a guard and an inmate.

"The investigation is definitely continuing," Mades said.

Mades said the misdemeanor charge was lodged because "We believe there was no force or threat of force."

He said the charge was selected by State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr.

Contacted at his home Tuesday afternoon, Garner, who has worked at the jail for 2 1/2 years, had no comment. He was served with a criminal summons Monday evening. He was not taken into custody.


The 28-year-old female inmate who made the allegation was taken to Washington County Hospital early Saturday after she told jail officials she had been raped.

Cpl. Peter Lazich interviewed the woman at the hospital.

Although physical force wasn't used, "she was submissive because she felt intimidated by his mere presence," Lazich wrote in a charging document.

The woman, who is serving a 90-day sentence for harassment and awaiting trial on other charges, has been in the jail since February.

She was in a medical holding area near the booking section of the jail at the time of the alleged incident, Mades said. Garner was on duty in the booking section, Mades said.

There are procedures in place at the jail but at some point, Mades said, "you have to trust these people."

The jail has about 70 male and 12 to 14 female correctional officers, Mades said.

"We try to staff women with women, and men with men but that isn't always possible," Mades said.

On Tuesday, the population at the jail was 38 female prisoners and 285 men, some serving sentences and others awaiting trial.

Maryland State Police were called in late Saturday as the investigation progressed, Mades said.

Mades said that about four years ago, two detention deputies were fired over allegations of sexual contact with a female inmate.

A conviction on a misdemeanor charge of correctional employee sex offense is punishable by up to three years in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

The Herald-Mail Articles