Updated 09/14/2012 05:34 PM
Jail Deputy Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges
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Robert Wilson, 41, has worked for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office for 17 years. For the last two years, he'd been working at the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
He's now been suspended, accused of raping female inmates in that facility, in an incident Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn calls an embarrassment to the office.
Wilson is charged with two counts of rape, a count of criminal sexual act, 12 counts of sexual abuse, one count of patronizing a prostitute, and seven counts of official misconduct. Wilson pleaded not guilty in court Friday morning to the charges.
O'Flynn says the investigation began when other deputies noticed unusual activity on jail computers.
Wilson has been a sergeant at the correctional facility for the last two years. O'Flynn says he was able to take the inmates to insecure areas within the facility, where some of these alleged crimes happened.
"He was a supervisor and had access to the entire facility, and he had calculated actions to be able to manipulate the system to accommodate his actions," O'Flynn said.
Investigators say Wilson knew some of these women outside the jail and seemed to continue illegal activity inside the facility. O'Flynn says video evidence from cameras inside the jail are part of the case.
O'Flynn says while they are reviewing their policies and procedures, procedures already in place helped catch Wilson's alleged wrongdoing.
"By bringing in our investigators, that being the DA's office, I believe that would erase any appearance of impropriety, and we met individually with all the victims, re-interviewed everyone prior to placing the case before the grand jury," said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
"It is a disappointing day that one of our own would act and use his position in such a way. We derive our authority through the confidence and trust that the community has. Any time that any police officer in the county does something that violates that trust, it's a black mark on all of us," O'Flynn said. "But as I said before, I'm proud of the many, many people within our organization that daily work in the jail and throughout the organization and their actions and their integrity."
These charges are from January 2010 to this summer. While the DA's office has no information that there was any alleged wrongdoing before that, it's asking anyone with information to come forward.
Wilson has been suspended without pay. He did make bail. He's due back in court later this month. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.