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Alleged oral sex with inmate gets county jailer fired, faces felony charges
Alleged oral sex with inmate gets county jailer fired, faces felony charges

Joshua S. Wagner
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (June 17, 2010) — Joshua Wagner was enrolled in the Missouri Sheriff’s Academy and had hoped to move from his job as a Pulaski County jailer to become a sheriff’s deputy or police officer. Instead, following charges that he had oral sex at least twice with a female inmate, he faces felony charges of sexual contact with a prisoner.

According to court documents, Wagner, a 27-year-old Rolla man, knowingly had deviate sexual intercourse with the unidentified 36-year-old woman between March 26 and April 4 while the woman was an inmate.

That incident happened barely two months after Wagner was hired as a jailer.

“Wagner acknowledged … that while he was employed as a Pulaski County jail officer, he received oral sex from (the woman) who was incarcerated in the Pulaski County Jail,” according to court records. “Additionally, Wagner also acknowledged that (the woman) performed oral sex on him in the laundry room of the Pulaski County Jail while he was on duty as a jail officer.”

Sheriff J.B. King said he learned about the allegations during the second week of April and turned the case over to the Division of Drug and Crime Control of the state patrol, which is commonly asked by local law enforcement to investigate allegations of wrongdoing within the agencies to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

“The process took some time,” King said in a prepared statement, noting that Wagner was interviewed on April 26 by a state trooper and fired by King at the end of the interview.

The trooper’s investigation continued for another month and a half, leading to a June 14 statement of probable cause sent by the state patrol to Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Hooper.

Hooper acted quickly, filing charges the same day; Wagner was arrested two days later on Wednesday of this week. According to King he immediately posted bond and is not currently in jail.

The bond is $50,000 cash or surety by a professional bail bondsman, according to court records.

Wagner was one of the county’s newest employees, having begun work on Jan. 17 as one of five jailers hired under a federal grant to employ additional jail staffers. King had sought the federal grant in part to reduce the county’s potential liability in the event of inmate abuse by having multiple jailers on duty.

“During the very first training hour of the first training day, I personally told the new employees about the Missouri law governing sexual contact with an inmate and promised them that if they violated our trust in them, that we would prosecute the violation,” King said in a prepared statement.

Wagner faces maximum penalties of two to four years in state prison or a special term of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

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