Wisconsin Female Prison Guards Face Sexual Assault Charges

Two former female Oakhill prison guards are being charged with second-dagree sexual assault, even though they say the so-called victim — a prisoner — seduced them.

A year and a half ago, Correction’s Secretary Matt Frank said he would enforce a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual contact between prison staff and inmates.

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That is the background for what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Wisconsin.

On Thursday morning 39-year-old Christine Roberge, a former sergeant and 9-year prison veteran, and 29-year-old Heather Bartosch, who guarded inmates at Oakhill for seven years, will make initial court appearances on the sexual assault charges.

At the time of the alleged incidents last year both women were married — Bartosch to a Fitchburg police detective.

A letter from the inmate that was found by Roberge’s husband initiated the prison probe.

At first, the warden called the Fitchburg Police Department since Oakhill is in that jurisdiction. But Fitchburg couldn’t investigate because one suspect was married to a staff member.

So the county investigated and found the inmate seduced the guards at different times into having sexual relations in secluded areas of the prison.

According to the complaint, one guard became concerned when he could not find Roberge, who had left her post. He saw her coming out of a towel room with a prisoner.

The other guard was concerned for his own safety, as well as the safety of other correctional officers because he was unsure of what lengths either of them might go to keep it quiet, WISC-TV reported.

Bartosch said she became smitten with an inmate and even bought him gifts.

“I crossed the line. I knew it. It scared me,” she said. “I let myself get comfortable with someone I shouldn’t have.”

News 3 is not identifying the prisoner since he is a sexual assault victim.

The complaint also alleges that Roberge may have had a physical relationship with a second inmate, and wrote dirty letters to a third.

However, she is charged with just one count of second-degree sexual assault, as is Bartosch, which is a 40-year felony.

A correction’s spokesman told News 3 that policies and procedures at Oakhill are now under review.

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March 22, 2006: Authorities Investigate Allegations Of Guards Having Sex With Inmate
source: http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/Wisconsin-Female-Prison-Guards-Face-Sexual-Assault-Charges/1$29723