Guard charged with custodial sexual misconduct

EVERETT — A Snohomish County corrections officer is accused of providing a jail inmate homemade chocolate chip cookies in exchange for sexual favors.

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a felony charge against Abner Canda, 58. A former inmate, 22, has alleged that she and Canda had sexual contact while she was incarcerated at the county jail last year.

The sheriff’s office put Canda on paid administrative leave in January when the allegations first surfaced, court papers said.

Canda on Tuesday was charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct. It is illegal for corrections officers or other law enforcement personnel to engage in sexual activity with anyone detained, under arrest or jailed.

The woman had been an inmate at the jail between November and January. She approached police in mid-January, explaining that she felt guilty about her consensual sexual encounters with Canda, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell wrote in charging papers.

“I’m sorry. I’m trying to change and be a better person now. I’m ashamed for my actions that’s why I’m saying something,” she allegedly told police.

The woman is not named in the charging papers. She is only referred to by her initials.

She detailed three separate occasions when she reportedly had sexual contact with Canda.

She said she was in jail in May when she willingly showed the man her breasts in exchange for some extra food.

The woman was booked back into jail in November. She told police Canda had sexual contact with her while she was in her cell. Prosecutors say video surveillance shows Canda at the woman’s cell on the day of the alleged incident.

The woman also said there was another incident in January. The woman told police that Canda gave her cookies in exchange for sexual favors, Cornell wrote in charging papers.

Sheriff’s detectives interviewed two other inmates who reported having sexual contact with the same corrections officer. One woman told police that she and Canda were “dating” while she was an inmate, Cornell wrote. Canda is not charged in connection with those allegations.

Canda has been a corrections officer since 2007.

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

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