BIRMINGHAM – A former corrections officer at the federal prison for women in Alabama pleaded guilty Tuesday to committing a sexual act with an inmate and lying about his contact with her while he worked at the facility, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Miami Field Office, Assistant Special Agent in Charge James F. Boyersmith.
JESSE BAILEY, 28, of Carrolton, Ala., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Virginia E. Hopkins to one count each of abusive sexual contact and making false statements to the government. The judge scheduled Bailey’s sentencing for March 13.
“Our office takes seriously the responsibility of holding individuals accountable when they violate the trust and responsibility placed on them to supervise and protect prisoners by, instead, abusing them — sexually or otherwise,” Town said. “Bailey’s action makes a very dangerous job more difficult for all members of law enforcement, the vast majority of whom conduct themselves with the highest professional standards and utmost levels of integrity.”
“The OIG is committed to protecting the safety of inmates and investigating incidents of alleged abuse by correctional staff,” Boyersmith said. “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that corruption and abuse of power within our federal correctional system will not be tolerated.”
Bailey worked as a corrections officer at the Federal Correctional Institution at Aliceville, a low-security prison for women, from January 2015 to August 2016. He had direct custodial, supervisory and disciplinary authority over inmates, including the victim, whom court records identify as H.G.
In January 2016, Bailey was assigned to the prison dorm unit where H.G. was housed and soon began a flirtation with her that resulted in the sexual act that took place in a staff bathroom near the dorm unit. Over the course of the flirtation that lasted several weeks, Bailey began communicating with H.G., even when he was not assigned to her dorm, including by email and telephone, according to his plea. Such communication between corrections officers and inmates is strictly prohibited.
Agents from the FBI and the DOJ Office of the Inspector General interviewed Bailey at FCI Aliceville in August 2016 about allegations of improper communications and sexual contact with H.G. Bailey falsely denied the sexual contact and told the agents he had never communicated with H.G. or other inmates by phone or email outside of his assigned role as a corrections officer, according to his plea.
The maximum penalty for abusive sexual contact is 15 years and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for making false statements is eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI and DOJ-OIG investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier O. Carter Sr. is prosecuting.