Former Columbia police officer pleads guilty to having sex with inmate

Former Columbia police officer pleads guilty to having sex with inmate
Richard Pack

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - A former Columbia Police Officer pleaded guilty to sexual activity with an inmate Tuesday in Marion County.

Richard Charles Pack pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity between certain individuals and offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities or on correctional supervision.

Pack was sentenced to five years, with four and a half suspended, with six months to serve and register as a sex offender.

According to District Attorney Hal Kitrell, this is the same sentence that Pack received in Madison County, for the same charge, and the two sentences are set to run concurrent.

Pack and three other law enforcement officers, Justin Codey Herrington, Vasan Josea Oatis and Shawn Michael Williams were all previously charged with having "sexual activity" with an inmate, with her consent, which is a felony.

According to indictments, the officers sexually interacted with the inmate between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2013, and again between May 5 and June 30, 2014.

Herrington resigned from the department in July 2014, while Oatis and Pack resigned on Aug. 27. Williams was terminated on Aug. 5, 2014.

The charges fall under Mississippi statute 97-3-104, crime of sexual activity between certain individuals and offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities or on correctional supervision.

The investigation, which lasted nearly one year, was conducted by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The other officers have court dates set for January.