Warrants sworn in Greene County sexual misconduct case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department has obtained two warrants on accusations of sexual misconduct on two jail guards.

Sheriff Johnny Isaac said Monday warrants have been obtained for Aaron Bell, 43, of Eutaw and Louis Johnson, 21 of Forkland, both corrections officers at the Greene County Jail for two years. Both are accused of sexual misconduct, which is a Class C felony.

Bell was a permanent employee and Johnson was part time while attending Stillman College.

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The charges, Isaac said, come from improper relations with a female inmate.

“Both were accused of sexual interaction with a female inmate at the jail,” Isaac said. “On the early morning hours of Dec.13 are when she said the crime took place.”

After confronting the two men, Isaac said, both confessed to their crimes.

“After discussing it with them, they confessed,” Isaac said. “According to her statement it was not rape, she consented, even though it was not a situation in which she was fit to consent. Both of them were very well aware of that and all employees at Greene County Jail are aware of that because we teach them.”

Bell and Johnson’s first court date is scheduled for Feb. 15. The crime could carry a one to 10 year sentence if they are found guilty.

The crime, Isaac said, should never have happened. He said employees of the jail are lectured on improper behavior and they knew the consequences of their actions.

“Our employees know that if they do something like this there will be disciplinary action,” Isaac said. “They know they can be terminated and there is also a good chance they will be arrested because they represent this office. Even though they are not arresting officers, they are a member of our force and we expect them to behave as such.”

After confessing, Isaac said, both showed a great deal of regret for their actions.

“They are remorseful,” Isaac said. “They are remorseful that they did it and for how they disappointed and embarrassed me and this office.”

Isaac said he learned of the incident when a visitor to the inmate was informed of what happened. He said the visitor relayed the news and the department immediately took action.

Isaac said he hoped this would be a lesson to department and jail employees that they were still held under the same laws as civilians.

“We will police ourselves,” Isaac said. Even though we are law enforcement we are subject to the same laws as everyone else.”