Sheriff’s deputy accused of touching female inmates

A Saline County Jail corrections officer was fired and arrested Monday after he was accused of touching three female inmates.

Eric A. Taylor, 27, Bridgeport, had worked for the sheriff’s office for two years, but Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said he did not believe this had been a pattern of behavior.



“As far as we know, this was a one-time event,” he said. “It’s something that should never happen, but it happens.”

Kochanowski said the three inmates were housed together. Taylor allegedly touched them in a sexual way June 24. When the sheriff’s office received information about the allegations, an internal affairs investigation and a sheriff’s office criminal investigation were launched simultaneously.

Kochanowski said the information about what was alleged to have occurred did not come from the inmates, but he refused to identify the source of that information.

Although Kochanowski had not talked to the women involved, he said that, in general, inmates tend to fear retaliation if they share information that might reflect poorly on a corrections officer.

“When you’re incarcerated like that, you always fear bringing something forward that gets someone else in trouble,” he said. “Inmates are no different than anybody else. They’re just people. They may wonder, ‘What are they going to do to get even?’ ”

The internal affairs investigation, conducted by Lt. Alyssa LeClair, showed that Taylor had violated in-house policies and procedures in ways that were grounds for dismissal, Kochanowski said. Taylor was fired at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

The criminal investigation, conducted by Investigator Matt Fischer, concluded that there was probable cause to arrest Taylor on three felony charges of unlawful sexual relations by a law enforcement officer with an inmate over the age of 16, Kochanowski said.

Taylor was taken into custody at 4:40 p.m., when he drove to the jail and turned himself in. Taylor immediately posted bond and was released, Kochanowski said.

According to the Bureau of Justice National Inmate Survey for 2007, about 1.6 percent of inmates in county jails — 12,100, nationwide — reported inappropriate sexual contact with another inmate, and 2 percent — 15,200 — reported an incident involving sexual contact with a staff member.


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