A former corrections officer with the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno (FCI-El Reno) has pleaded guilty to "abusive sexual contact" with an inmate.
According to a press release from the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, Amanda Hock, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this week to knowingly engaging in illegal sexual contact with an inmate on December 23, 2015. Hock was a correctional officer with FCI-El Reno until her resignation in December 2015. She was charged with violating federal law by engaging in sexual contact with an inmate in September 2016.
Under federal law, it is a crime to engage in sexual contact with an inmate, regardless of whether or not the sex act appears to be consensual. According to 18 USC § 2243 (b):
Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States or in a Federal prison, or in any prison, institution, or facility in which persons are held in custody by direction of or pursuant to a contract or agreement with the head of any Federal department or agency, knowingly engages in a sexual act with another person who is—
(1) in official detention; and
(2) under the custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority of the person so engaging; or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
However, Hock was not charged under § 2243, but rather § 2244, which involves sexual contact, rather than a sex act, and therefore has lighter sentencing. Upon conviction, the defendant faced a maximum of two years in prison.
In entering her plea, Hock told the judge, "I messed up. I know how serious it was. I've been beating myself up over it." She went on to say that she would "never do anything so stupid again."
Following the former corrections officer's guilty plea on Monday, US District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced her to 60 months (5 years) of probation, with 180 days to be served on home detention. She is also ordered to serve 104 hours of community service during her first year of probation.
Sexual contact with an inmate is a violation of both state and federal law. Because this particular incident took place in a federal prison, the United States, rather than the state of Oklahoma, had jurisdiction over prosecution.
Image credit: Federal Bureau of Prisons