Corrections deputy pleads not guilty to sex crime

EVERETT — A Snohomish County corrections deputy made his first court appearance Wednesday since being charged with a felony sex crime.

Sean Wright pleaded not guilty to first-degree sexual misconduct. Wright, 34, is accused of using his job to coerce female inmates into having sex with him. Prosecutors also allege that Wright plied the inmates with gifts, including cookies, in exchange for watching them shower and change their clothes.

It is a felony under any circumstances for corrections officers to engage in sexual activity with inmates.

Wright started at the jail in September 2010. He remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.

Wright’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 21. His attorney Mark Mestel of Everett said that date likely is just a placeholder.

The claims about jailhouse sex came to light after detectives from the Kent Police Department shared concerns about the attention that a Snohomish County corrections deputy had paid toward an inmate the detectives had interviewed, deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf wrote.

When asked for an explanation, the woman said the deputy was trying to arrange to meet her for sex after she got out of jail. A sheriff’s detective was assigned to investigate.

The woman told detectives she had “at least two sexual encounters” and numerous sexual conversations with the corrections deputy, court papers said.

Investigators also were told about another woman who reportedly talked about sexual activity with Wright. She initially denied that anything happened. A week later, she called detectives and said that Wright had coerced her into engaging in a sex act.

“The defendant said that (the woman) needed to trust him, and that he could lose his job and get in ‘big trouble’ if anyone found out,” Alsdorf wrote.

The woman also said that Wright had exposed himself. She told detectives other inmates witnessed some of the behavior. Investigators found other inmates who corroborated some of what the woman reported, court papers showed.

Wright’s co-workers also reported concerns.

They said he was sometimes inexplicably missing from his post, seemed unusually interested in certain inmates’ needs, and that female inmates “appeared uncomfortable whenever they learned that the defendant was scheduled to work” swing shift, Alsdorf wrote.

One corrections deputy reported concerns about Wright to the jail’s chain of command. He said Wright had gone to inmates’ cells to “say good night,” behavior considered “highly unusual,” the prosecutor wrote.

A former corrections deputy, also charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct, is set to go to trial next week.

Abner Canda, 59, is accused of trading homemade cookies for sexual favors from a 22-year-old inmate.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read