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Former jail deputy indicted

May 03, 2001

Former jail deputy indicted



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

A Washington County grand jury has handed up indictments on charges of second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense and two counts of correctional employee/inmate sex offense against a former jail deputy at the Washington County Detention Center.

Michael Anthony Garner, who was served Wednesday with a warrant detailing the grand jury's April 26 action, faces as much as 46 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Appearing before a Washington County District Court commissioner Wednesday, Garner was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, according to court records.

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Initially charged in March with a single count of correctional employee sex offense, Garner resigned his position at the jail. He had faced dismissal after being charged with a misdemeanor sex offense. He was initially accused of having sexual intercourse with one female inmate, according to Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades.

"We believe there was no force or threat of force," Mades said last March in explaining why the charge lodged against Garner was a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

But the grand jury found that force and a threat of force were factors in the two new felony counts of second-degree rape and second-degree sex offense, court records said.

The 28-year-old female inmate, who made the allegations against Garner, was taken to Washington County Hospital after she complained to jail officials that she had been raped on March 17.

Cpl. Pete Lazich began an investigation immediately, interviewing the woman at the hospital. Mades was informed that same day.

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

According to court records, she was in a medical holding area near the booking section of the jail on March 17. Garner was on duty in that booking section.

The alleged sexual contact occurred when breakfast was being served to inmates in that area of the jail.

A 2 1/2-year veteran at the detention center, Garner, 35, of 110 E. Antietam St., was part of a staff of approximately 84 men and women employed to deal with prisoners at the county jail.

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