published Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Charge: Indiana jailer coaxed female inmates to strip

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — A central Indiana jail officer has been charged with coaxing female inmates into stripping for him in return for favors.

Morgan County jail officer Nicholas Tankersley, 21, of Martinsville, was formally charged Thursday with sexual battery, official misconduct, theft and battery. The Reporter-Times reported Tankersley has been fired.

The Associated Press’ phone call to the jail went unanswered Saturday. Tankersley’s number was unlisted.

About a dozen women claimed, according to a probable cause affidavit, Tankersley told them he would provide them with extra sheets, oranges, ink pens or other items — in violation of jail rules — if they exposed their breasts or stripped in front of him.

Two female inmates told investigators that Tankersley had them perform a sex show for him, the affidavit said. Another female inmate said Tankersley touched her breast while she lay on her bunk.

Tankersley asked for a public defender at a hearing Thursday, but it was not clear if one had been appointed.

Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sgt. Larry Sanders said in the affidavit that Tankersley admitted to most of the acts, which allegedly occurred between Nov. 15 and Jan. 11 during the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

Tankersley also reportedly told police he has friended some former female inmates on Facebook, but his wife has asked him to unfriend them.

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