A former guard from George County jail was indicted on Monday on charges accusing him of having sex with an inmate.
59-year-old Warren Avery is accused of having consensual sex with a female inmate on two occasions on September 7, 2016.
George County Sheriff Keith Havard fired Avery last year after conducting a probe on his alleged sex crimes.
Avery pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of unlawful sexual activity.
During Monday’s court appearance, Avery informed the judge that he has been unable to get the services of a lawyer to represent him because he does not have the money for fees. He told the judge that he’s currently only making $15 an hour from his work. Judge Dale Hankey then called on Public Defender David Futch to represent the cash-strapped Avery.
Avery is scheduled to return to court in April. He remains free on bond pending trial.
Avery isn’t the first former jail guard to face similar unlawful sex activity charges. Two former Jackson County jailers are serving five years in prison each after pleading guilty to charges of unlawful sexual activity in the said county.
Jenkins admitted to having sex with a female inmate in September 2016 while Davis admitted to the same charges with an inmate in June 2016. Another implication of the pair’s crimes is that after they are released from prison, they will be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.
It is illegal for prison staff to have sexual contact with inmates. Violations are often classified as sexual assaults because of the inherent power guards have over inmates, that is why supposed consensual sex is often not a justification to escape accountability.