Corrections officer charged with sex abuse of girl

PALMER – An official with the state Department of Corrections confirmed today that a Palmer Correctional Center officer has been arrested for sexual abuse of a minor.

Director of Institutions Garland Armstrong said officer Joel Larson, a 14-year veteran with the department, was arrested away from his work site on Friday.

In an affidavit, Wasilla police officer Rick Manrique, states that he re-opened a case in which a Palmer a teenager accused Larson of sexual abuse in 2006 but later recanted the statement under pressure from a family member. She was sentenced at that time for filing a false report.

During an interview in August with Manrique, the girl said she “is tired of living the family lie and is ready to do something about it.”

On Sept. 24, Manrique had the girl wear a wire and as well as carry a recording device when she met Larson at a grocery store in Palmer. During the conversation, Larson allegedly recalled incidents of sexual relations with the now 17-year-old girl.

Manrique contacted Larson Sept. 29, but Larson admitted nothing.

He was arrested on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, all felonies.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 6 in front of Magistrate David Zwink.


California Deputy Fired after Arrest


A sheriff’s detention deputy was arrested and fired amid allegations he solicited a sex act from an inmate.

Federico Tafoya, 26, was arrested Friday after sheriff’s detectives received reports that he had been acting inappropriately with one of the inmates.

Authorities said Tafoya was an extra help deputy assigned to the work release program at Sheriff Headquarters.

They said he was supervising inmates when he solicited a sex act in one of the buildings on the property from a 20-year-old inmate assigned to the program.

They said the inmate was not injured or physically assaulted; however, Tafoya was terminated.

Tafoya was employed for four months with the sheriff’s office. He is currently out on bail.

He faces one count of false imprisonment, one count of causing a person to expose him or herself and one count of attempted oral copulation under color of authority.


Former sheriff’s employee indicted on sex charges


A former employee of the Sevier County sheriff’s office has been charged with having sex with an inmate.

A news release from the District Attorney’s office says Ty Paul Lintner of Sevierville was named in a six-count presentment returned by a grand jury charging him with multiple counts of sexual contact with an inmate.

The incidents allegedly took place between September 2006 and February 2007.

Lintner was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond and is scheduled for an Oct. 14 arraignment.

Lintner has also been accused in two federal civil-rights lawsuits of sexually harassing two prisoners at the jail. The latest lawsuit was filed in July while a similar suit was filed in February.

County officials and Lintner denied all allegations in the February suit. Lintner’s attorney, Jeffrey Ward of Greeneville, said he had not seen the new lawsuit and could not comment.



Prison-sex confession stands

A prison psychologist given a three-year sentence for having sex with an inmate patient will go to prison after the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld her conviction Thursday.

Anna Clark, now 57, was convicted of third-degree sexual assault for her dalliance with Dan Burns, an inmate under her care.

Clark argued on appeal that her confession to an Arkansas State Police investigator about her sex with Burns was based on false promises.

Clark said the investigator told her he would keep the matter out of the press, keep her out of jail and even hoped that she’d retain her psychology license.

But Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber, writing for the court, said Clark had waived her Miranda rights and knew that having sex with an inmate was a crime.

“In viewing the totality of the circumstances, we conclude that [Clark ] ’s confession was voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently given,” Imber wrote.

Clark also contended that because the investigator didn’t tape the first 75 minutes of the interview, he violated the due-process clause in Article 2, Section 8 of the Arkansas Constitution.

No Arkansas law requires the police to record an interrogation in its entirety, Imber wrote.

But, Imber wrote, “we believe that the criminal-justice system will be better served if our supervisory authority is brought to bear on this issue” and announced the court will refer the “practicability” of adopting a formal rule on electronic recordings to its Committee on Criminal Practice for study.

But even if the court had a rule on taping confessions “any resulting error would be harmless in light of otherwise overwhelming evidence of [Clark ] ’s guilt,” Imber wrote.

A correctional officer walked in on Clark and Burns having sex, and Burns admitted to the relationship, the judge wrote.

Clark has been free on an appeals bond since her August 2007 sentencing, according to Department of Correction records, said prison spokesman George Brewer.

Her time out on bond won’t count toward her sentence, he said.

At the Supreme Court, the case is CR 07-1276, Anna Clark v. State of Arkansas.


Former prison guards face sentencing this morning

PROVIDENCE — Two former correction officers convicted of assaulting four inmates are scheduled for sentencing this morning.

Former Capt. Gualter Botas and Kenneth Viveiros were found guilty of 11 counts of simple assault and battery for roughing up the inmates in Botas’ office in 2005 and 2006.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today in Superior Court, Providence.

Special Assistant Attorney General Molly K. Cote, who prosecuted the case, has said she might seek jail time for both men.

Each misdemeanor count of simple assault and battery carries a penalty of one year in prison.

On July 31, a jury returned a judgment of guilty on all counts against Botas, 39, of Pawtucket; and Viveiros, 56, of North Providence. The jurors deliberated for less than four hours before reaching their verdict.

Matthew Gumkowski, Robert Houghton, Anthony Romano and Jose Gonzalez all took the witness stand and testified that Botas summoned them to his office at the Adult Correctional Institutions and administered beatings over contraband. Houghton, Romano and Gonzalez testified that Botas repeatedly struck them with a phonebook.

Botas was convicted of seven counts of simple assault on the inmates; while Viveiros was found guilty of four counts of simple assault on Houghton, Romano and Gonzalez.


Ex-juvenile justice officer faces solicitation charges

TALLAHASSEE — A former Department of Juvenile Justice employee faces charges of sending obscene pictures to a teen-aged girl and trying to meet her for sex, Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday.

Parris Woods, a corporal with DJJ, was arrested after an investigation by the school resource officer at Boca Ciega High School.

The case was handled with the Gulfport Police Department and McCollum’s CyberCrime Unit. A 14-year-old girl reported that she received telephone text messages from a man who said he worked at a juvenile-detention center where the girl had recently been taken. She said the cell phone messages included nude images and some other materials, along with a suggestion that they meet for sex.

School Resource Officer Steven Beltran, who had been certified by the state CyberCrime Unit, began the investigation, working with McCollum’s Tampa office to set up a meeting. McCollum and Gulfport Police Chief Curt Willocks said Woods, 27, was at the meeting place when police arrived.

In Tallahassee, the DJJ said Woods was immediately fired.

The attorney general’s office said Woods was charged with one count of soliciting a minor for unlawful sexual conduct, one count of transmitting harmful materials to a minor and one count of traveling to meet a minor for sexual purposes. All of the charges are felonies.


DRUGS: Kennewick prison guard accused of taking drugs to work

A Washington State Penitentiary corrections officer was arrested Monday for bringing drugs into the Walla Walla prison, officials said.

Camren James Jones, 20, of Kennewick, is suspected of taking cocaine, heroine, methadone and marijuana into the prison, with plans to deliver drugs to inmates, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported.

Walla Walla police Sgt. Matt Wood described the heroin found on Jones as being about the size of two golf balls, the newspaper said.

Jones resigned shortly after his arrest.

The arrest was made as part of an investigation into delivering contraband to inmates.

For more crime news, see Wednesday’s Herald and