Former Kentucky prison guard who was charged with sexually abusing women inmates was sentenced to probation without any jail time. In 2011, the Kentucky State Police arrested Officer Sergeant James B. Johnson, and charged him with 25 counts of sexual abuse, trafficking controlled substances, and 50 counts of official misconduct. The 54-year-old former prison guard accepted a plea deal that required him to attend a diversion program. He also was sentenced to seven years of probation.
Travis Beard, 23, of Siloam Springs, was taken into custody by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Division and charged with stalking a child. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office tells 5NEWS that Beard used to work as a jailer for Adair County. A 10-day undercover investigation by the Cyber Crimes Division in early December led to the arrest, officials said. Authorities said Beard exchanged text messages and photographs with an underage girl.
On October 27, 2011, an Ohio jury convicted former Cleveland House of Corrections (CHC) guard James Belle, 32, of forcing a transgender male prisoner to perform a sex act on him in March 2010. The prisoner, who was housed in a protective custody unit where Belle worked, reported the crime to CHC officials but was ignored. He then reported it to High-land Hills police and a rape kit was performed. Video surveillance supported the prisoner’s accusations.
While awaiting trial, Belle was arrested for raping a 21-year-old woman he met on a phone chat line in April 2010. Had there been prompt action by CHC when Belle’s sexual misconduct involving a prisoner was first reported, he might not have committed the rape – which occurred one month later.
Belle was subsequently convicted of sexual battery, rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition, and was sentenced in November 2011 to 11½ years in prison – ten years for sexually assaulting the CHC prisoner and 18 months for raping the woman he met on the chat line. He also will have to register as a sex offender.
Aaron Peters, a prison guard, is accused of raping a female inmate.
Former prison guard Nicholas Fornaro paid a woman to rape her, filmed it and posted it on the Internet.
Juan R. Stevens, a correctional officer, was arrested last month for arranging sexual encounters in hotel rooms with at least four women who advertised online as “adult escorts.” Rather than paying the agreed-upon price, authorities say Stevens then claimed to be a police officer. He is also linked to the May 23, 2011 sexual assault of a woman at a motel where he is accused of wearing a uniform and displaying a badge to the woman, and then forcing the woman to perform oral sex and have sexual intercourse with him.
Zel Mitchel, 42, a prison guard, was charged with sexual assault against a person in custody, violation of oath and public indecency.