Female Ohio Jail Intern Accused of Smuggling Drugs, Engaging in Sexual Acts with Inmate

Butler County Jail
Butler County Jail Facebook

A teenager working an internship at the Butler County Jail has been charged with smuggling drugs into the jail and admitted to having a sexual relationship with an inmate. One of the inmates she was reportedly involved with is a convicted murderer.

The teen, who has not been identified as she is a minor, was enrolled in the Butler Tech Criminal Justice Program that offers students internships at a local jail, in a bid to prepare students for corrections employment, should they want to apply for a job at the jail when they're 18.

However, the program has since been paused after the teen intern was charged on March 1 with two felonies and one misdemeanor for bringing marijuana, ecstasy and a cell phone into Butler County Jail while working there as an intern, court records show. She was also charged with a misdemeanor for obstructing official business.

Student Allegedly Confessed to the Drug Smuggling, Sexual Relationship with Inmate

As reported by The Enquirer, the student confessed to sheriff's deputies to bringing the drugs and cell phone into the jail and to having a relationship that violated jail policies with two inmates, Willie Attaway, 32, and Larkin McGowan, 33.

The student also told deputies she had two sexual encounters with one of the inmates, Butler County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer said. At a hearing Thursday, Judge Daniel Phillips ruled that her confession can be used in court. The case is now set for trial, and her next scheduled hearing is July 15.

Before starting their internship, students are required to sign documents agreeing to certain rules, such as keeping non-public information about inmates confidential, and not having relationships or sex with inmates. Interns wear a uniform similar to the jail's correctional officers, Dwyer said.

Student Told Deputies She Had Sex with the Inmate While Another Inmate Kept Watch For Guards

The student confessed to deputies that she had two brief sexual encounters with the inmate. Dwyer said she was not left alone in the jail's two-story housing pods; a guard was in the building.

However, the student said in her confession that she went inside the inmate's cell while the guard was walking away from the cell, Dwyer said. The chief deputy also said it was his understanding that another inmate was keeping watch for the guard during the encounter. The teenager said this situation happened twice.

Dwyer said an unnamed "informant" told deputies a "CO (correctional officer) had been compromised." They learned Attaway and McGowan were involved and, because of estimated time frames, believed the teenager was the "compromised" staffer.

The deputies searched her phone and found she had been having conversations with the inmates, which was against protocol. They interviewed her that same day and she confessed, court records show.

Jail employees who have sexual relationships with an inmate can be charged with sexual battery, as is described in the Association Policy that interns and other staff members sign. The student was not charged with sexual battery since she was an intern and not an employee, Dwyer said.