ROCKLAND, Maine — Plea negotiations are ongoing between the defense and district attorney’s office for a former Knox County Jail guard accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Defense attorney Jeremy Pratt said negotiations are ongoing in the Adam Grierson case. Pratt also told Justice Jeffrey Hjelm on Monday in Knox County Superior Court that he is gathering information on what sentences have been imposed in other Maine counties for similar offenses.

Grierson, 27, with addresses listed in court files as both Camden and St. George, is charged with gross sexual assault in connection with an alleged sexual assault that occurred in March 2012 at the Knox County Jail.

He has pleaded not guilty.

A woman who was an inmate at Knox County Jail told Rockland police that in exchange for sex, Grierson provided her with cigarettes that he smuggled into the nonsmoking facility. In Maine, it is a felony for corrections officers to have sex with an inmate under their supervision. The maximum sentence for Class B gross sexual assault is 10 years in prison.

Grierson has been free on bail since his arrest six months ago.

The woman, who is in her mid-20s, also filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Knox County and Grierson 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 trial is tentatively set for August in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The Bangor Daily News is not naming the woman because she may be a victim.

Grierson was interviewed and allegedly confessed that he sexually assaulted the woman, according to a police affidavit. The former jail guard, however, denied trading cigarettes for the sex. He said he provided the cigarettes with no connection to the sex, according to the affidavit.

He was placed on administrative leave and later resigned after he was accused of providing cigarettes to the woman.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.