Sergeant on leave in Marysville jail sex investigation

MARYSVILLE — A Marysville jail sergeant is on administrative leave while detectives investigate allegations he engaged in custodial sexual misconduct with women inmates.

Sgt. Charles R. Nelson, 51, is the subject of internal and criminal investigations, according to court papers.

The allegations are spelled out in a search warrant affidavit filed by a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office detective. The city in May requested an outside agency investigate.

“Sgt. Charles Nelson, an employee of four years, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of both a criminal and an internal investigation; neither of which has been completed as of this date,” Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said in a written statement.

Nelson’s attorney, David Allen of Seattle, was unavailable for comment.

In May, a jail corrections officer brought the concerns of inmates to the attention of his superiors.

Many of the alleged incidents took place in the jail laundry room where inmate trustees often work alone. The room did not have a surveillance camera.

One woman told detectives she gave Nelson her cell phone number while she was an inmate in 2013 and he texted her later. She reported that after she was released, Nelson called her and they went to a hotel. They had sex and he gave her $100 afterward, she alleged. Detectives recovered a credit card receipt from the hotel in Nelson’s name and matching the time frame the woman described.

Another woman alleged that Nelson gave her his cell phone and asked her to take photos of her private parts while in the jail in 2013. He allegedly offered to give her money and pay her bail.

A third woman alleged to detectives that Nelson unzipped his pants in the laundry room and she touched him over his underwear in a sexual manner. Another time he allegedly touched her in a sexual manner over her clothes.

She told the detective the touching occurred earlier this year and was consensual, but he should be reprimanded.

Under state law, the inmate’s consent is not a defense to second-degree custodial misconduct. That’s due, in part, because the perpetrator may have the ability to influence the conditions of the person’s incarceration.

In Nelson’s case, investigators monitored surveillance footage near the entrance of the laundry room. The camera showed Nelson and the third woman were alone in the room “at least 50 times” for spans of mere seconds to a couple of minutes.

Nelson’s co-workers expressed concerns about Nelson often being in the laundry room alone with the third woman. Two corrections officers said there would be no reason to go into the laundry room with an inmate.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Minutes mattered the day Pat Ward was brought back to life

The Mukilteo police and fire chaplain died at breakfast. She got a second chance thanks to a waitress.

Cool additions at an elementary school in Everett

A totem pole and new gardens grace the courtyard of Whittier Elementary School.

Kids suspected in school’s smashed windows and other damage

The cost of the damage at Explorer Middle School in south Everett is estimated to be $5,000.

Recall issued for about 1,250 pounds of meat

Camano Island’s Sausage Haus products might be contaminated.

3 women seek open seat in 39th District

The GOP nominees hope to fill the opening created by the resignation of Republican John Koster.

Lake Stevens High senior has an entrepreneurial mind

John Cramer crafts and sells designer pens to help pay for college

Marysville-Arlington fiber-optic link planned by Comcast

The high-speed internet line, to be ready next year, is seen as a boost for business development.

Front Porch

EVENTS Health fairs A Senior Healthy Living Fair is set for noon… Continue reading

Cellphone carrier substation in Snohomish vandalized

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a… Continue reading

Most Read