As we've previously reported, on December 8, 2011, the Marion County Sheriff's Office placed guard Mark W. Samuels on administrative leave when an investigation revealed a 19 month sexual relationship with a female work center prisoner. (PLN, July 2012, p. 50).
Samuels was terminated when he was arrested on March 19, 2012, according to Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Don Thomson. His bail was originally set at $25,000, but it was raised to $80,000 the next day, at the request of the Marion County District Attorney's Office, said Thomson.
Samuels faces up to 22 years in prison and $325,000 in fines after being indicted on 14 sex crimes. He is accused of sexual intercourse and other sexual contact with a female prisoner between May 2010 and December 2011, according to court documents. A March 20, 2012 indictment charges Samuels with two counts of custodial sexual misconduct in the first degree; six counts of custodial sexual misconduct in the second degree; and six counts of sexual abuse in the third degree. The sexual abuse charges suggest that the sex was not consensual; though consent is not a defense to custodial sexual misconduct under Oregon law.
Although the criminal charges allege conduct with a single prisoner, the lawsuit was filed by two women who claim that Samuels sexually abused them for more than a year, while they were assigned to the Work Release Center. They seek damages totaling $3 million.
"We take allegations of misconduct very seriously, and we do not condone inappropriate or criminal behavior," said Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers. "We will be reviewing our processes and policies of dealing with the oversight and supervision of offenders in the Work Center." No further comment was offered on the lawsuit. We will report on any significant developments in the criminal and civil cases.
Source: The Oregonian
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