Charge against ex-prison counselor dropped

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WALLA WALLA — The prosecution has dismissed a criminal charge against a former Washington State Penitentiary employee accused of having sex with an inmate in 2008 and 2009.

Laura C. Lindsay, 39, of 1211 Wallula Ave., had been accused in Walla Walla County Superior Court of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct.

But based on further investigation, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Golden filed a motion to dismiss the charge because he now can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. Judge Scott Wolfram signed the dismissal order Wednesday.

However, the charge could be refiled if further evidence develops.

Officials claimed a state investigation revealed that Lindsay, who was a classification counselor at the penitentiary, was involved in a sexual relationship with the inmate. The encounters were to have occurred in private areas of the penitentiary.

The investigation began in July 2012 after pictures of Lindsay posing nude reportedly were found during a routine search of the inmate’s cell.

Golden told the Union-Bulletin today that a police report indicated Lindsay confessed to Department of Corrections officials she had a sexual relationship with the prisoner. But in an interview with Golden she acknowledged an inappropriate relationship that put her in a compromising position, but not a sexual one.

Golden said he couldn’t confirm with DOC that she confessed to a sexual relationship. In addition, the inmate has claimed he had sexual relations with other correctional employees in another prison, and likely wouldn’t be a credible witness, Golden said.

Lindsay resigned in July 2012, agreeing never to work for the DOC again.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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