The state Attorney General's Office has filed felony charges against a former Franklin County corrections officer accused of having sexual contact with two female inmates.
Justin Thomas Husom, 41, was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The case was forwarded to the attorney general for review following an internal investigation by the sheriff's office. The investigation was sparked by rumors at the jail that Husom had sexual contact with an inmate.
Husom resigned after admitting to investigators he had oral sex with an inmate in an off-camera storage room at the jail, apparently in exchange for a razor.
Husom initially lied about the incident, but later admitted to the sexual contact after failing a polygraph test. He had worked at the jail for more than three years.
"Husom was emotionally upset and was apologetic for his actions and wanted to know if he was going to lose his job," Undersheriff Kevin Carle wrote after the failed polygraph.
The second felony charge stems from an ongoing sexual relationship Husom had with another inmate, according to charging documents and investigative reports. The relationship began in December 2011 and lasted until May 2012.
Husom and the inmate initially denied the allegations and the inmate passed a polygraph test.
When the inmate was arrested again earlier this year, she said she had sexual contact with Husom several times, reports said. The incidents took place in the storage room and would sometimes be in exchange for contraband.
"(The inmate) reported that she and Husom began a secret dating relationship in the jail. She said he would occasionally give her things such as shaving razors and candy," Detective Jason Nunez wrote in his investigative report.
The inmate said Husom tried to set up a hotel date after she had been released but she stopped answering his calls.
Husom also was involved in another incident that violated department policy with a female corrections officer, reports said. The female officer allegedly touched and kissed Husom near the booking area of the jail while both were on duty.
The female officer, who was on a yearlong probation period, was not hired on by the sheriff's office, Lathim said. He told the Herald the incident wasn't the only reason the female officer was not hired.
Public documents obtained by the Herald also show a different female corrections officer didn't pass probation after a fellow officer saw a text message from a former male inmate.
The woman denied giving her number to him.
Investigators don't believe the message was of a sexual nature. That was not the primary reason she wasn't hired, said Lathim.
Despite these recent cases, Lathim said there is a not problem with jail staff having inappropriate relationships with inmates and that no other officers in recent memory have been under investigation for sexual misconduct.
"There's really no more to the story than what has been portrayed," he said. "We all do our best in trying to hire people. They make mistakes and it can happen anywhere."