NASHVILLE – A federal indictment, unsealed today, charges a Maury County corrections officer with obstructing an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused an inmate in his custody, announced U.S. Attorney Mark H. Wildasin for the Middle District of Tennessee and Assistant Attorney General Kristen M. Clarke of the Civil Rights Division.
James Stewart Thomas, 31, of Columbia, Tenn., a corrections officer with the Maury County Sheriff’s Office, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury on one count of falsification of records. Thomas was arrested at his home earlier today by FBI agents and will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon.
According to the indictment, in response to allegations that Thomas had nonconsensual sexual contact with a female inmate in his custody, he wrote an official report in which he falsely claimed that he had reported to two Maury County Jail supervisors that an inmate had made sexual advances toward him while the inmate was in his custody at a hospital. The report also falsely claimed that those two Maury County Jail supervisors both advised him not to write a report about the alleged sexual advances by the inmate, and the report omitted that he had a sexual relationship with the inmate after the inmate’s release from the custody of the Maury County Jail.
If convicted, Thomas faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Klopf and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.