Former jail guard charged for sex crimes against inmate

By Juliette Laaka | Oct 30, 2013
Photo by: Knox County Jail Richard Wellington

Rockland — A former Knox County Jail guard has been charged with multiple counts of unlawful sexual contact after victims allege he traded contraband, including candy, for sexual favors, according to an affidavit.

Richard Wellington, 60, of Warren has been charged with 10 counts of unlawful sexual touching and one count of unlawful sexual contact stemming from a victim's statements that he assaulted her while she was incarcerated and under his care.

Wellington is the second guard accused of a sex crime against a female inmate.

The investigation started when an inmate received a letter at the jail that read, " Hope you gained something, I lost a lot. Thanks ya right." The victim became nervous the letter was from Wellington, and spoke with an employee of the jail about her concerns, according to an affidavit filed by Knox County Sheriff's Office Detective Justin Twitchell.

When the victim was interviewed Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison's office, she said she felt more comfortable talking about what Wellington had done since he was no longer employed by the jail, said court papers.

The victim told police Wellington gave her candy bars, a razor, and chewing tobacco if she showed him her breasts. She said he would also grope her, which occurred in the laundry room and in her cell. She estimated Wellington had touched her 75 to 100 times from April to August, said court papers.

Other female inmates verified he would provide contraband.

She also said Wellington went into the shower with her, where he continued to touch her. She said she told Wellington it upset her that he was touching her, and he stopped, said an affidavit.

Evidence to support the claims are verified by inmate journal entries and findings of contraband in Wellington's possession, said court papers.

When Twitchell interviewed Wellington about the accusations and the contraband found in his mailbox, including a razor, Wellington said he used it to trim his facial hair in the morning. He later confessed he let female inmates use the razor after further questioning. He also confessed to writing the letter to the victim, saying he did so because he was hurt and told Twitchell "I was good to her," said the affidavit.

Wellington denied any sexual contact with inmates and initially agreed to take a polygraph test. He later declined the request, according to the affidavit.

Wellington was arrested Aug. 23 and released on $5,000 cash bail. He made an initial appearance in Knox County Superior Court Oct. 30. He is scheduled to appear for a status conference hearing Feb. 26.

In October, another former jail guard, Adam Grierson, 27, of South Thomaston and Camden was charged with gross sexual assault against a female inmate.

He faces three counts of gross sexual assault and will make an initial appearance in Knox County Superior Court Nov. 27, according to court documents.

The complaint filed against Grierson states three sexual encounters occurred while the female victim was incarcerated at the jail in 2012.

Detective Sgt. Chris Young of the Rockland Police Department investigated the case and interviewed the victim, of Washington, who was incarcerated from November 2011 to March 2012. She told Young during the July interview she had sex with Grierson in exchange for cigarettes while she was an inmate. She also provided names of three women she was housed with at the jail who could confirm her allegations. When interviewed, the witnesses were able to provide details supporting the victim's statements, according to the affidavit.

In August, Young interviewed Grierson, and he admitted to having sex with the victim, but added he was not giving her cigarettes for sex, but rather he was giving her cigarettes randomly, said the affidavit.

The victim has also filed a civil lawsuit against Grierson in U.S. District Court. The case will be ready for trial by June 2014, according to an order issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublcationsllc.com.

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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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