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Charge against correctional officer dropped

December 01, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The case against a correctional officer who was accused of having sexual intercourse with an inmate at Eastern Regional Jail has been dismissed in magistrate court, but the officer still could face indictment in circuit court, a Berkeley County prosecutor said Wednesday.Joshua D. Barrett, 27, of 125 April Lane, Hedgesville, W.Va., was arraigned in July on one felony count of imposition of sexual intercourse or intrusion on an incarcerated person.Barrett, who was employed with the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, was suspended without pay. He remained suspended without pay, John King, the agency’s operations chief, said Wednesday.The alleged victim, Autumn Harrison, is no longer incarcerated at the jail, but failed to appear for the scheduled preliminary hearing for Barrett on Tuesday, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders said.Seven attempts were made to serve Harrison with a subpoena to appear for Barrett’s court hearing, Saunders said.The dismissal of the charge came at the prosecuting attorney’s request, and the case now is being “reviewed” for possible presentation to a grand jury in circuit court, Saunders said.Harrison told authorities that she had a sexual encounter with Barrett in May while she was cleaning a holding cell at the jail, according to court records.Upon being asked by Barrett to perform a sexual act with him, the inmate told authorities that she consented on the condition that Barrett would get her some pills and cigarettes, according to court records.Barrett agreed, according to the inmate’s statement in court records. The inmate said they also engaged in a second sexual act shortly after the first encounter, according to court records.Attorney B. Craig Manford has served as Barrett’s court-appointed attorney.— Matthew UmsteadThe case against a correctional officer who was accused of having sexual intercourse with an inmate at Eastern Regional Jail has been dismissed in magistrate court, but the officer still could face indictment in circuit court, a Berkeley County prosecutor said Wednesday.Joshua D. Barrett, 27, of 125 April Lane, Hedgesville, W.Va., was arraigned in July on one felony count of imposition of sexual intercourse or intrusion on an incarcerated person.Barrett, who was employed with the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, was suspended without pay. He remained suspended without pay, John King, the agency’s operations chief, said Wednesday.The alleged victim, Autumn Harrison, is no longer incarcerated at the jail, but failed to appear for the scheduled preliminary hearing for Barrett on Tuesday, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Saunders said.Seven attempts were made to serve Harrison with a subpoena to appear for Barrett’s court hearing, Saunders said.The dismissal of the charge came at the prosecuting attorney’s request, and the case now is being “reviewed” for possible presentation to a grand jury in circuit court, Saunders said.Harrison told authorities that she had a sexual encounter with Barrett in May while she was cleaning a holding cell at the jail, according to court records.Upon being asked by Barrett to perform a sexual act with him, the inmate told authorities that she consented on the condition that Barrett would get her some pills and cigarettes, according to court records.Barrett agreed, according to the inmate’s statement in court records. The inmate said they also engaged in a second sexual act shortly after the first encounter, according to court records.Attorney B. Craig Manford has served as Barrett’s court-appointed attorney.

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