Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Love, Sex and Violence KO Oregon Deputies, Jailers and Prison Guards

On August 16, 2007, in separate incidents, two Clackamas County, Oregon sheriff?s deputies were arrested on job-related criminal offenses.

Deputy Bryan Lavigne, 36, used excessive force on a juvenile by strangling him during an arrest on July 15, 2007. Other officers witnessed the incident and reported it to supervisors. The eight-year sheriff?s department veteran was placed on administrative leave the next day; he was then charged with assault, unlawful chokehold and official misconduct. The teenager, whose name and age were not released, did not require medical attention. On Nov. 2, 2007, Lavigne pleaded guilty to the chokehold charge and was sentenced to 14 days in jail and 2 years probation.

Deputy Donald Mainero, 31, resigned when colleagues reported he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female police cadet.
Mainero, who had been with the sheriff?s department since 2004, was charged with official misconduct, sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor. The sexual delinquency charge was dropped at the request of the victim, who told the court she loved Mainero and planned to marry him. The former deputy pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct on November 29, 2007. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail, 80 hours of community service and three years probation.

In unrelated cases, two guards at the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) were charged criminally for relationships with female prisoners.

Guard Erich Gunta Watson, 57, a 25-year veteran of the jail, was terminated in 2006 following an investigation into his relationship with prisoner Talina Hall, 35. Hall spent so much time at MCDC that she listed it as her permanent address on her driver?s license. Detectives discovered 120 recorded telephone calls ? many sexual in nature ? between Watson and Hall. Watson also admitted that he kissed Hall and smuggled coffee, sandwiches and tinted contact lenses into the jail for her.
Cocaine was found in Watson?s home upon his arrest.

He was charged with one count of custodial sexual misconduct, three counts of supplying contraband, four counts of official misconduct and one count of cocaine possession. In July 2007 he was sentenced to 18 months on bench probation; he will not be supervised by a probation officer, and after one year can petition the court to have his conviction reduced to a violation.

MCDC guard Alexander Frederick Wiese, 41, was also romantically involved with a female prisoner. He was indicted on March 21, 2007 on a charge of official misconduct for writing love letters to prisoner Lindsay Jill Bailey and having intimate conversations with her. Wiese pled no contest and on August 14, 2007 was sentenced to one year on probation.

In yet another incident, two Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) guards, Tomi Sue Fowler, 39, and her husband, James Matthew Fowler, 29, were arrested following an August 30, 2007 search of their home.

Tomi began working for the Oregon DOC in 1999 and James was hired in 2000. Prison officials placed Tomi on administrative leave on June 9, 2007 upon learning she had a sexual relationship with an unnamed 25-year-old prisoner. James was still employed at the prison at the time of his arrest. The Malheur County District Attorney stated that Tomi had been charged with custodial sexual misconduct, smuggling contraband (diet pills) into the prison, and official misconduct. During the search of the Fowlers? home a marijuana growing operation was found; both Tomi and James were charged with unlawful manufacture of marijuana.

SCRI public relations officer Amber Campbell stated the prison does not have regular drug testing for its guards. ?If there were suspicions we could request a drug test,? she said. ?There?s not a routine process set up for drug testing staff.?

These are only the most recent incidents involving Oregon sheriff?s department, jail and prison employees who have engaged in misconduct. In 2006, Oregon State Penitentiary guard Rebecca McLauchlin was charged with having sex with a male prisoner and accepting a bribe; she received a 25-month prison sentence. And in February 2007, a food service employee at the same facility, Kimberly Capps, 47, was charged with five misdemeanor counts of custodial sexual misconduct.

Sources: The Oregonian,, Statesman Journal, Associated Press

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login