The former acting head of a Richland home for juvenile felony offenders was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail.
Mindi M. Stoker, 39, of Pasco, pleaded guilty to a felony and a gross misdemeanor after having sexual contact with an 18-year-old felon housed at the Twin Rivers Community Facility.
“I can only say ‘Of those much is entrusted, much is required’,” said Benton County Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner. “And it looks to me like you have blown it.”
Stoker declined to speak at her sentencing hearing. She was taken into custody after the hearing ended to start serving her sentence.
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The prosecution and defense attorneys jointly recommended a sentence of six months on each charge, to be served at the same time. After three months in jail, she may serve the second three months on work release or a work crew.
She was fired from her Washington State Department of Social and Health Services job at the juvenile home shortly after she was charged in December.
However, she has found another job in Grant County, said her attorney, Ryan Earl. The judge agreed that she could do work release there for the second half of her sentence.
Stoker will not have to register as a sex offender, after accepting a plea deal with a felony charge that is not a sex crime.
She pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault, a felony, after initially being charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct with the inmate. A prison official having sex with an inmate is considered an assault.
She also pleaded guilty to second-degree custodial sexual misconduct, a gross misdemeanor, for having sexual contact with a teen.
Because the felony she pleaded guilty to was not a sex crime, she will not have to register as a sex offender.
Investigators said she kept a “to do” list on her cellphone of sexual experiences she wanted to have with the teen. The list also included helping him get back his gun rights and sealing his criminal record.
Authorities learned of the relationship after the inmate’s roommate told staffers the two were having sex, according to court documents. It triggered an investigation by DSHS, Child Protective Services, the Washington State Patrol and Richland police.
The inmate told a Richland detective that the relationship with Stoker began about Oct. 20, when she took him on a trip to another juvenile facility and they had sexual contact on the drive back.
Other instances followed, including sex in a bathroom at Twin Rivers, according to court documents. Richland police said there were witnesses to some of the incidents.
Twin Rivers helps offenders sentenced as juveniles transition back into society toward the end of their sentences. The group home at 605 McMurray St. has 15 beds for offenders.