ROCKLAND, Maine — A second Knox County Jail guard has been accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.
Richard S. Wellington, 60, of Warren made his initial appearance Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court on one count of unlawful sexual contact and nine counts of unlawful sexual touching. He entered no plea during the court hearing Wednesday, which was less than five minutes long.
According to an affidavit filed by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office with the court, a female inmate told investigators in early August that Wellington would provide her candy bars in exchange for her showing him her breasts and allowing him to touch them.
The woman said that she received candy bars on a daily basis from Wellington, when he worked, and she estimated he touched her exposed breasts up to 100 times from April through the beginning of August. The assaults would occur in the laundry room and in a couple of cells.
The female inmate also said that Wellington provided her with a razor so she could shave her private area and, in return, she would have to show him her private area, according to the affidavit. She said that on one occasion, he also touched her genitalia.
On Aug. 14, after the investigation had begun, the inmate received an unsigned letter that she believed came from Wellington which stated, “Hope you gained something, I lost a lot, Thanks ya right.”
When questioned on Aug. 16, Wellington denied having any sexual contact with inmates. He also denied initially providing a razor to the woman but later said he did. He admitted sending the letter but said he did so because he had been good to her and he felt hurt, according to the affidavit.
Wellington initially agreed to take a polygraph but later decided not to, according to the police report.
Wellington was hired as a part-time corrections officer in April 2012 and was terminated in August 2013, according to the county. Sheriff Donna Dennison said he had previously worked at the Maine State Prison.
Dennison said Wednesday that she will act whenever she is made aware of any criminal activity even if it involves one of her staff.
“We can’t do anything about it unless we know,” the sheriff said. “Even if it is one of our own, I will deal with it.”
Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said during Wednesday’s hearing that he may seek additional charges against Wellington at the next grand jury concerning accusations by a second female inmate.
While Wellington remains free on bail, the conditions include that that he have no contact with either woman.
This is the second Knox County Jail guard charged in a month with sexually assaulting female inmates.
Adam Grierson, 26, who is listed with an address of both St. George and Camden, was arrested and charged earlier this month with three counts of gross sexual assault in connection with offenses that allegedly occurred in January, February and March 2012.
He was released on $10,000 unsecured bail and is scheduled to make his initial court appearance in Rockland District Court on Nov. 27.
Grierson is accused of coercing a female inmate, who is in her mid-20s, into having sexual intercourse with him on a least three occasions.
The woman also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Knox County in July over the alleged assaults, which occurred while she was incarcerated in the county jail from November 2011 through April 2012. She is seeking $300,000 in damages as well as unspecified punitive damages.
The sheriff said Wednesday she is not aware of any other guards under investigation. She said she also is not aware of any lawsuit pending from the alleged victims in the Wellington case.