Third Rape Case in Less than a Year at Oklahoma Prison

For the fifth time since 2008, and the third time in less than a year, an employee with the Joseph Harp Correctional Facility in Lexington, Oklahoma, is facing charges of raping an inmate.  Prison case manager Kasey McDonald, 37, who has since resigned from the Department of Corrections, is accused of having a sexual relationship with an inmate.  She is also accused of smuggling a cell phone and marijuana into the facility. McDonald came under investigation after she was recorded making sexually suggestive comments during a telephone conversation with a 24-year-old inmate.  According to the inmate, who has now been transferred to another facility, he and McDonald had sexual relations multiple times since December.  He said he feared for his safety as a result of the relationship. Oklahoma sex crime lawyers point out that Oklahoma law prohibits a sexual relationship between an inmate and an employee of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.  Even if the act or acts are seemingly consensual, Oklahoma law stipulates that an inmate is legally unable to give consent.  Any person convicted of rape subsequent to a sexual relationship with an inmate must register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender. McDonald is not the only employee of the Joseph Harp Correctional Facility who has recently faced criminal charges as a result of a relationship with an inmate.  Over the past four years, four additional women have been convicted of rape in Oklahoma following sexual involvement with the facility's inmates:

  • In June 2008, prison secretary Joi Ilene Starr, 37, was charged with the rape of a 37-year-old inmate serving time for a murder conviction.  She pleaded guilty to second degree rape and received probation.
  • In July 2008, Katrina Laverne Hinds, 40, was charged with rape following her admission to a single sexual encounter with an inmate convicted of drug crimes.  She pleaded guilty in March 2009 and was sentenced to two years of probation.
  • In July 2011, two prison nurses were charged with raping the same inmate.  Debra Joann Harms, 49, and Kristina Marie Knutson, 30, pleaded guilty to having sex with a 34-year-old murder convict in a treatment room at the facility.  Each received probation.
For all of the above women convicted of rape after having sex with an Oklahoma Department of Corrections inmate, perhaps the most devastating consequence is lifetime registration as an Oklahoma Sex Offender. Being charged with rape following a seemingly consensual encounter can launch a series of negative consequences, including the loss of one's career; damage to one's reputation, legal penalties such as jail, prison, or probation; and mandatory sex offender registration.  If you or someone you love has been criminally charged as a result of a sexual relationship, call an Oklahoma sex crime defense lawyer for a free case evaluation.

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