Prison investigates sexual allegations

HELENA – Four employees at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge are on paid suspension while the state Department of Corrections investigates an inmate’s allegations that prison staff subjected him to sexual misconduct, a spokesman for the department said Saturday.

A fifth worker who also was suspended with pay has ceased employment with the department and is off the payroll, spokesman Bob Anez said.

Inmate Michael A. Murphy, a former Kalispell resident serving a 25-year sentence, recently sent some Montana newspapers a letter reporting several of the suspensions and stating that a female mental-health worker had sex with him more than 30 times, beginning in September 2007. Murphy said two female corrections officers also engaged him in sexual activity.

Under state and federal laws, an inmate is unable to consent to sex.

Anez said the investigation involves the three people accused in the letter and two about whom Murphy did not write when communicating with the newspapers.

The suspensions were imposed about seven weeks ago, Anez said. If the investigation finds personnel violations of prison policy, consequences could range from written reprimands to termination.

Anez said the administrative investigation, which may be complete by Nov. 21, began immediately after Powell County Attorney Lewis Smith concluded in late October that there was insufficient evidence to support criminal charges.

“The department takes these types of allegations very seriously,” Anez said. “It has zero tolerance when it comes to inappropriate behavior of department employees.”

Standard procedure was followed in placing the employees on paid leave, he said.

Murphy, 35, has a record that includes convictions for forgery, felony theft and criminal endangerment.

His most recent arrest came after he led law enforcement officers on two high-speed car chases in 2006 after probation authorities went to his Kalispell house to conduct a search and he fled in a sport utility vehicle. Officers pursued Murphy through Kalispell and west of there, but dropped the pursuit because of high speed and heavy traffic.

When a Montana Highway Patrol trooper spotted Murphy, he was chased again. In that pursuit, an officer rolled his patrol car and received minor injuries. Murphy fled on foot near Lone Pine State Park and was apprehended the following night in a Kalispell city park.

A state judge sentenced Murphy to 20 years on a charge for which he originally received a suspended sentence, and imposed an additional five years for felony endangerment.

Rude Awakening: Deputy Uses Taser Gun On Sleeping Inmate

LARGO, Fla. — A Pinellas County detention deputy has been suspended for using the sound of his stun gun to try and wake up an inmate.


According to an internal affairs report, Deputy Michael Kenefic thought the crackling sound of his Taser would rouse inmate Robert McAllister on July 27. It did not.


McAllister had fallen asleep at on the floor of the jail’s intake section

Kenefic, a three-year veteran of the agency, received a 15-day suspension. His punishment also includes a charge of misconduct for falsifying a report.


South Carolina Detention Officer Fired over Sexual Misconduct Charges

YORK – A York County detention officer has been fired after an investigation into an inmate’s allegation of sexual misconduct, according to the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Cordell Martin, 59, of Smyrna was charged Tuesday with second-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate after an Oct. 19 incident.

Martin had been employed as a detention officer since 2004, the release notes. He was fired Tuesday by York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, according to the release.

When The Herald tried to reach Martin on Wednesday, a family member deferred comments to Columbia attorney Jack Swerling.

“He is extremely upset about the allegations,” Swerling said of Martin. “I have spoken to Mr. Martin briefly about it, but he tells me in no uncertain terms that this did not happen. He intends to defend himself in court.”

Martin will meet with Swerling in the next few days, Swerling said.

A York County Sheriff’s Office report states a 41-year-old Charlotte woman was toucshed inappropriately between 6 p.m. and midnight Oct. 19 while incarcerated at Moss Justice Center.

The Herald does not identify sexual assault victims. The woman remained in custody Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office Web site.

An arrest warrant states Martin had “sexual contact” with the inmate.

Several days after the alleged sexual misconduct, the inmate notified sheriff’s office personnel, the release states. Martin was suspended from duty, according to the release.

Because of the nature of the inmate’s complaint, Bryant asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate. The sheriff’s office and SLED did not provide any details about the woman’s complaint. SLED does not release information about ongoing investigations.

On Tuesday, SLED issued and served an arrest warrant against Martin. Martin was booked Tuesday afternoon and released a short time later on a $5,000 bond, authorities said.


Rock Island corr. officer charged with misconduct

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a veteran Rock Island County correctional officer has been charged with accepting money from an inmate who wanted it to appear a weekend jail sentence had been served.

The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department says 36-year-old Omar Rubalcava of East Moline is charged with two felony counts of official misconduct.

Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez says Rubalcava allegedly accepted hundreds of dollars in September from an inmate who was supposed to serve a sentence on weekends. He then allegedly let the inmate go and made it appear the sentence was being served.

Rubalcava has been a Rock Island correctional officer since 1994. It’s not clear if he has an attorney, and his telephone number is unlisted.