Inmate alleges affair with officer

A Bothell woman who alleged in court last month that she was raped in the Snohomish County Jail by a corrections officer told police she’d had an affair with the man prior to her conviction in the molestation of three young girls, according to court papers.

Florena Aurelia Romero, 22, was in tears at her June 27 sentencing when she repeatedly claimed she was the victim of a sexual assault at the jail. She now is serving nearly 10 years in prison.

Police are investigating her accusations as potential custodial sexual misconduct, according to an Everett District Court search warrant. It is against the law for a corrections officer to have sexual contact with inmates.

If Romero had alleged she was forced to have sex, the case would be investigated as rape, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said Thursday.

“There isn’t any issue that I am aware of as to consent,” he added.

When Romero first made the allegations on June 15, she told detectives that she met the corrections officer in the jail shower after the other inmates had gone to sleep and they engaged in sex, according to court papers.

She told police that she had known the officer, 36, for about a year prior to going to jail. She also said she had gone out to dinner with him nearly a dozen times and had sex with him three times before her incarceration, court papers said.

“According to Romero, there were times between their sexual contacts that she told him that she was married and did not want any sexual relations with him, that she wanted to just be friends,” Everett police detective Don deNevers said in an affidavit.

Romero was jailed in May after a Snohomish County jury convicted her of playing a role in the sexual abuse of three girls, ages 7, 9 and 11. The children were molested and also photographed nude during the incident.

All of the conduct occurred in August 2006 with Romero’s then-boyfriend, convicted child molester Jamie Lloyd Wallin, 32, of Everett. Evidence showed Romero engaged in sex with Wallin in front of the girls.

Wallin was convicted of 11 charges, including three counts of first-degree child molestation. He is serving a life sentence and was recently charged with more sex crimes.

Romero was convicted of eight counts, including sexual exploitation of minors and communicating with minors for immoral purposes.

The corrections officer who Romero accused of having sex with her in jail remains on administrative leave, jail spokesman Jim Harms said. It is against jail policy, and county code, for corrections officers to have relationships with known felons, he added.

Police have seized genetic samples from the man for tests, according to court papers.

Detectives expect to send the case to prosecutors for review next week, Goetz said.

Reporter Scott North: 425-339-3431 or north@heraldnet.com.

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