The investigation was started by a tabloid newspaper report that prisoner Susan Smith had been beaten in prison. Smith is notorious for being convicted of drowning her 3-year-old and 14-month-old sons in 1994 after she claimed on national television that they had been taken from her in a carjacking. It turns out that the beating report was false, but Smith told prison investigators that she had been having sex with at least two prison employees.
On September 6, 2001, Alfred Rowe, Jr., 40, a former captain at the Women's Corrections Center in Columbia, pleaded guilty to having sex with Smith. Circuit judge Lee Casey Manning sentenced Rowe to five years probation. Manning said he took into consideration the fact that the sex was "consensual". South Carolina, like many other states, has criminalized sex between prisoners and staff by finding that prisoners are inherently incapable of consenting to sex with their captors.
A month earlier, on August 13, 2001, Lt. Houston Cagle pleaded guilty to two counts of "intercourse with an inmate." Cagle admitted to having sex four times with Smith, and a sexual relationship with another female prisoner. Under South Carolina law, intercourse with an inmate is punishable by up to ten years in prison for each count. Judge Manning sentenced Cagle to three months in jail, 5 year's probation, and 250 hours of community service. Both Cagle and Rowe were fired from their jobs with the South Carolina DOC.
Sources: Laurinburg Exchange ,Republican American .
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