EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCORRECTIONAL OFFICER INDICTED
from Eyewitness News Online
Police: Juvenile Correctional Officer Sent 'Sexually Seducing' Letters To Teenage Inmate
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Nov. 30, 2012 8:13 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 30, 2012 8:42 PM EST
Dunbar , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A female juvenile correctional officer is indicted in Kanawha County on charges involving a teenage inmate.
Latarsha Allen, 30, of Oak Hill was indicted on Thursday on four counts of using obscene matter with the intent to seduce a minor.
According to the criminal complaint, Allen worked as a correctional officer at the James H. "Tiger" Morton Juvenile Detention Center in Dunbar. During an investigation by the West Virginia State Police, it was discovered she was allegedly writing letters to a 15-year-old inmate at that same facility.
Troopers say they found approximately eight letters written to the boy. Four of the letters are described as "obscene" and "sexually seducing."
Troopers say Allen admitted to writing the letters.
She was arrested in March, but was just indicted by a Kanawha County grand jury. Each charge carries a possible penalty of up to five years in prison, meaning she's facing up to 20 years behind bars, if convicted.
"When you're talking about someone that potentially works at a correctional facility or even a daycare or that nature....anytime you're talking about an adult who has a custodian or guardian relationship over children, there's an emphasis on it. It's against the law, and if there's evidence of it, we're going to prosecute you," said Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants.
The facility's director, Dan Egnor, forwarded questions about the case to West Virginia Division of Juvenile Service's Deputy Director Denny Dodson. A secretary at his office said they could not comment because it was a personnel matter.
It is unclear if Allen is still employed at the facility in Dunbar.
Since her March arrest, she has been released from jail. She will appear before Judge Jennifer Bailey on December 10.
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