By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
MONROE — A former employee at the Monroe Correctional Complex has been arrested for investigation of having sex with an inmate who is serving time for murder.
The woman, 53, worked for Correctional Industries inside the Washington State Reformatory.
Monroe detectives were made aware of the allegations in 2011. They built probable cause to make an arrest, but the Seattle woman was hard to locate because she moved several times since she left the state Department of Corrections, Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said.
The inmate, 43, was convicted of first-degree murder. He was a clerk in the same area where the woman worked, Willis said. He was released a year ago and remains on community custody.
The Department of Corrections worked closely with Monroe police, she said.
The suspect began working at the prison in 2006 and left in April 2011, according to Department of Corrections records.
Part of the case was based on letters exchanged between the woman who worked in a print shop and the inmate. He allegedly had ties with the Aryan Family Prison Gang, court papers said.
Corrections investigators found the inmate in possession of a hand-written letter to the woman. He acknowledged having had a sexual relationship with her, according to a police report.
Investigators also recovered a hand-delivered envelope. A hand-writing expert concluded that the woman wrote the letter.
A witness told detectives he observed the pair having sex.
She was arrested on Tuesday for investigation of custodial sexual misconduct. She later was released. She has not been formally charged with a crime.
It wasn’t the first time a Monroe corrections employee has been accused of having sex with an inmate.
Danette Skelton pleaded guilty in 2011 to first-degree custodial misconduct. Under state law, it is a felony for a corrections officer or employee to have sex with an inmate.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.