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Johnson County correctional officer fired, charged for alleged relationship with female inmate

Zachariah Johnson, 28, of North Vernon, is accused of having a relationship with a female inmate.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — A correctional officer with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office is facing charges for allegedly having a relationship with a female inmate.

Sheriff Duane Burgess said he was made aware of the situation Dec. 2 and spoke with the administration staff to discuss the allegations against Zachariah Johnson, 28, of North Vernon.

The inmate and her attorney spoke with members of the Sheriff's Office Investigations Division and provided a statement.

Morgan County Sheriff's Office detectives were then brought in to investigate to ensure complete transparency.

Detectives interviewed Johnson around 5:30 p.m. He was arrested and booked into the Johnson County Jail after the interview.

Johnson is charged with sexual misconduct, official misconduct and trafficking with an inmate. He was also fired from his job.

Prosecutor Joseph Villanueva released a statement on the charges saying that while the relationship appears consensual, an inmate cannot consent based on the authority an officer has over them.

"I appreciate Sheriff Burgess handling this investigation in such a prompt manner, and for bringing in an out of county agency to conduct it. One thing I wanted to ensure was transparency, regardless of how the investigation turned out. At this point my office will retain the case for prosecution, and we look forward to presenting our evidence in court in the future," Villanueva said.

In court documents, Johnson allegedly admitted to the sexual relationship with the inmate and bringing in a Plan B pill for her after one of their encounters.

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