Two Oregon jail employees who pleaded guilty to 40 criminal charges were sentenced to 36- and 50-month prison terms for having sex with the same prisoner 19 times.
Jill Curry, 38, a civilian jail services technician at the Washington County Jail since 2004, and the wife of a sheriff’s deputy, was apparently bored with her life.
Between May and July 2014, Curry repeatedly let 25-year-old prisoner Jeng-Li Delgado-Galban out of his cell and took him to a supply closet to engage in sex.
Curry told someone she was having sex with Delgado-Galban and that person reported her, according to an affidavit released by law enforcement officials on August 20, 2014. Investigators then secured video footage of Curry and Delgado-Galban entering the closet together at least six times. Curry later admitted to having an improper sexual relationship. [See: PLN, July 2016, p.63; May 2015, p.63; April 2015, p.63].
Delgado-Galban, a reported gang member, was in custody on charges of tampering with a witness, sexual harassment, failure to register as a sex offender, false swearing, harassment, second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. He reportedly testified against Curry before the Washington County Grand Jury.
Following her indictment on 12 counts of felony first-degree custodial sexual misconduct and first-degree official misconduct, Curry was arrested and booked into the jail on July 16, 2014. She was released after posting $12,000 bail, and her husband quickly filed for divorce.
A second indictment was returned against Curry a week later, charging her with 16 counts of misdemeanor second-degree custodial sexual misconduct and identity theft. The latter charges stemmed from Curry using someone else’s name to send letters to Delgado-Galban and put money on his account.
A series of disciplinary issues had landed Delgado-Galban in the jail’s segregation unit, where Curry worked in the control room with a deputy. When the deputy left for lunch, Curry and Delgado-Galban would talk over the intercom, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Lesowski. Their conversations soon escalated to sexual contact.
From the control room, Curry let Delgado-Galban out of his cell and unlocked two other doors so he could get to the supply closet, according to Lesowski. Leaving the control room door propped open, Curry then left her post to meet him in the closet where they had sex on the floor.
On February 13, 2015, Curry pleaded guilty to all 28 charges. She was ultimately sentenced to 50 months in prison – more than double the time recommended by prosecutors – after rejecting a plea offer that would have resulted in a 36-month sentence. [See: PLN, Sept. 2015, p.63].
During the Curry investigation, law enforcement officials discovered that Brett Robinson, 32, another civilian services employee at the jail, had been having sex with the same prisoner, stated Washington County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sergeant Bob Ray.
Robinson, who had worked at the jail for just over a year, was placed on paid administrative leave on July 30, 2014. She was moved to unpaid leave the next day “based upon information received during the ongoing investigation and the seriousness of the charges,” the sheriff’s office stated.
A grand jury indicted Robinson on six counts of both first-degree sexual misconduct and first-degree official misconduct. She turned herself in and was booked into the jail on August 19, 2014. Sheriff Pat Garrett accepted her resignation the following month.
Both women worked in the facility’s maximum security unit but apparently were unaware they were having sex with the same prisoner, said Ray.
Jail officials were understandably chagrined. “I consider allegations that involve a second jail staff member in this case extraordinarily serious,” said Sheriff Garrett. “They didn’t cross the line; they torched it.”
Like Curry, Robinson worked in the control center and let Delgado-Galban out of his cell six times, opening four secure doors. Rather than taking him to the supply closet, she let him into the control room where they had sex on the stairs.
Also like Curry, Robinson rejected a 36-month plea offer. She intended to assert an insanity defense based on evidence that she was “vulnerable, passive and gullible,” and suffered from mental illness.
Her attorney, Paul Hood, filed a notice of intent to present evidence of a mental disease or defect supported by a psychological evaluation that concluded Robinson lacked the capacity to follow the law when she had sex with Delgado-Galban. Hood planned to show that Robinson’s depression, anxiety and delusions led to her misconduct.
Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp refused to allow an insanity defense, however, finding the notice of intent had been filed too late. Hood submitted an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus with the Oregon Supreme Court which was denied on April 27, 2015.
Just before Robinson’s trial was to begin, Knapp ruled that he would not allow a defense psychologist to testify that Robinson had a long history of mental health issues and that her actions were not voluntary because she was delusional. Which, if true, makes one wonder why she had been employed at the jail.
“If I kill myself, the blood is on your hands,” Robinson told Deputy District Attorney Lesowski as she walked past him on the way out of the courtroom for a lunch recess.
When she returned, Knapp had Robinson taken into custody, citing her comment and documented mental health issues. The judge then asked if the attorneys were ready to proceed with opening statements.
Hood said he had a matter for the court, and disappeared into the judge’s chambers with the prosecutor. Robinson sat alone at the defense table, sobbing. Fifteen minutes later the judge and counsel returned; the discussion prompted Robinson to plead guilty to all 12 counts.
During Robinson’s June 2, 2015 sentencing hearing, Lesowski asked the judge to sentence her to 6 months more than Curry, for a total of 56 months. “For her to have done it once is breathtaking and shocking,” the prosecutor stated. “And she did it over and over again.”
Ultimately, Robinson received three years in prison.
When Curry was sentenced, Washington County Circuit Court Judge Charles Bailey scolded her, saying “[Delgado-Galban] doesn’t deserve the taxpayer’s money. [But] they’re going to have to pay, there’s no doubt in my mind.”
Indeed, on March 3, 2016, Delgado-Galban filed a lawsuit against Washington County alleging, among other claims, that his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment had been violated by the coercive sexual activities of his jailers – to which he did not consent, he argued. The suit contends the county should be held liable based on theories of negligent training and hiring practices.
Default judgment was entered against Curry and Robinson in August 2016, and the claims against the county defendants remain pending. Delgado-Galban is represented by the law firm of Oswald & Mitchell. See: Delgado-Galban v. Garrett, U.S.D.C. (D. Ore.), Case No. 3:16-cv-00400-PK.
Sources: The Oregonian, Statesman Journal, www.metro.co.uk, www.nydailynews.com
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login