OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A former Oklahoma County detention officer is facing a misdemeanor charge after investigators said she did not check on the safety and welfare of inmates while they were allegedly being sexually and physically assaulted.
“It didn’t take too long before somebody else noticed there was something going on in this cell,” said Mark Opgrande, the director of communications for the Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Commotion broke out on the 6th floor of the county detention center on June 3, according to court documents. Detention Center officials said four female inmates were assaulting other inmates while searching for a lost ring.
“They started taking other female inmates into a cell area that’s opened up during the [recreational] area, so they can use them as a restroom,” said Opgrande. “And were physically, sexually assaulting them trying to find this lost item.”
Opgrande said the former detention officer, LeeMontye Hennesy, was told by a supervisor several times to check it out.
“She walked to a certain area, talked to some inmates, actually walked a few inmates to their cells and then came back out,” he said. “One of the inmates claimed several inmates had come up crying to her saying ‘help.’”
After opening and closing the doors, court documents said Hennesy left the pod, then wrote in the log book, “Sight check complete all appears okay.”
“We do not believe she was in her capacity looking after the safety and welfare of those inmates. By simply walking in, talking to a few people and coming out,” said Opgrande.
According to a probable cause affidavit, investigators allege she did not check on the safety and welfare of every inmate, and said, “If she had, she would have discovered what was going on in the pod and prevented other inmates from being physically assaulted.”
Hennesy is also accused of only performing three out of 12 sight checks.
“Site checks are to be performed every hour,” said the communications director. “You have to go through check every single cell, make sure they’re in there, make sure they’re okay. Then, you can go to the next area and then do another sight check.”
“It’s a tough job and it’s not for everyone. It can be a dangerous job, too. Some people come in here, they think they have the temperament to work in a jail, a corrections area, but some people find out very quickly that they’re not cut out for it,” Opgrande said.
Opgrande also said the four female inmates who allegedly assaulted other inmates are facing charges of their own, including rape by instrumentation.