published Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Former McMinn County jailer indicted over sexual contact with inmate

A fired McMinn County jailer has been indicted on charges of having sexual contact with an inmate, Sheriff Joe Guy said in a news release Thursday evening.

Guy said the jailer, Justin Swafford, was fired April 13 after an investigation. He said the charge is a Class E felony.

He said the charge involved contact, not actual sex, between Swafford and a female inmate. His office began an investigation last month in consultation with the district attorney’s office, he said.

“We saw what appeared to be a pattern of policy violations, as well as criminal conduct on the part of Mr. Swafford,” Guy said in the release. “It is always disappointing to find misconduct and bad decisions in a staff member, but our department has high standards of conduct that we live and work by. We cannot tolerate violations of those standards.”

 Swafford had worked at the jail since Dec. 25, 2010. He was booked and released on $2,500 bond and faces arraignment in Criminal Court on June 4, the release stated.

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