A former Montana prison employee is facing sex charges over a sexual relationship she had with a male inmate while she was employed at the prison.
As reported by the Montana Standard, Ashley Rochlitzer, started a sexual relationship with the inmate, identified only as RJW, while she was a dairy supervisor at the Montana State Prison and RJW was in state custody and working at the prison ranch.
Rochlitzer Gave Birth to the Inmate's Child in Early 2023
Court records show Rochlitzer was employed at the prison between March 2022 and August 2022, which is when she left voluntarily. Rochlitzer was tasked with managing the day-to-day operations of the prison's dairy farm.
Suspicions emerged early on that Rochlitzer and RJW were involved in an inappropriately close relationship that violated prison policy and possibly the law, records show.
Ultimately, according to court filings, investigators from the Montana Department of Corrections determined from recorded prison phone calls that Rochlitzer and RJW believed they had conceived a child together during Rochlitzer's tenure with Montana Correctional Enterprises at the Montana State Prison in Powell County. Rochlitzer gave birth to the child in early 2023, according to court records.
Investigators interviewed RJW in September and he admitted he and Rochlitzer had a sexual relationship during her employment at the prison ranch, according to prosecution filings.
Rochlitzer Facing Charge of Felony Sexual Intercourse Without Consent
Federal and state laws hold that inmates cannot provide consent for sexual activity with correctional staff because prisoners are subject to the supervisory or disciplinary authority of correctional workers.
On March 30, Patrick Moody, an assistant Montana attorney general, filed in Powell County District Court to charge Rochlitzer with felony sexual intercourse without consent.
Court documents report that Rochlitzer had received training when employed as a dairy supervisor that emphasized she was barred from romantic relationships with inmates. She is scheduled for arraignment on May 2.