County Corrections Officer Charged Over Sexual Contact With Inmate

MAYVILLE – A corrections officer with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office was charged after allegedly having sexual contact with a female inmate.

Jeffrey Swan, who had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years, resigned from his position as an investigation into his behavior proceeded. He was indicted by a grand jury last week.

David Foley, Chautauqua County District Attorney, told The Post-Journal the sexual contact allegedly occurred between January and February of this year.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for June 16.

“After the investigation, (Swan) was suspended without pay, and he has been charged with criminal sexual act in the third degree, which is a Class E felony,” Joseph Gerace, Chautauqua County sheriff, told WIVB. “He is a former employee now, and now is pending the outcome of the criminal case that’s been levied against him.”

Gerace was informed of Swan’s behavior several weeks ago and has been actively engaged in an investigation with the District Attorney’s Office, according to the WIVB report. He could not comment on the nature of the sexual contact or whether it was consensual, but added that such behavior is never legal. State law prohibits prisoners from voluntarily consenting to sex with staff members.

“An inmate’s incapable of giving consent, much like a minor child. And so, even if they were a so-called willing participant in an act, they cannot give consent. And that’s something that’s ingrained into correction officers’ training and their minds; they know that,” Gerace told WIVB. “It’s aggravating, it’s maddening and it’s criminal.”

Gerace could not immediately return a call from The Post-Journal for further updates.