HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims said the department is not taking allegations against one its jailers lightly.
On Tuesday, Richard Williams, 33, was accused of using his position of power as a correctional officer to have sexual relations with female inmates at the Forrest County Correctional Facility.
Williams was arrested and charged with four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an offender and attempted sexual battery. According to the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, the decision to arrest Williams was made after interviewing witnesses and victims, reviewing surveillance footage and conferring with the District Attorney’s office.
“When we receive any allegation of any kind involving any employee at the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department, we’re going to take it seriously," Sims said. “We’re going to investigate it. We’re not going to jump to conclusions or anything else, we’re going to do a thorough investigation and find out what the facts are.”
Sims said this is the first incident of its kind since he took over back in January.
Now, an administrative investigation is being done to stop it from happening again.
“We are looking at our camera systems, camera locations, we’re looking at procedures,” Sims said.
Sims added that no one else has come forward since the arrest of Williams.
“We’re going to hold our people accountable," Sims said. “And if we find that someone has done something wrong, not only will they be terminated, but they’ll be prosecuted.”
Williams is being held at the Lamar County Jail on $250,000 bond.