JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – A former prison guard at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail pleaded guilty this week to having sex with an inmate, prosecutors in James City County said Friday.
Deputy Chief Steve Rubino with the James City County Police Department said his office started working on the case last summer. Alexander Koehler, 25, was charged with carnal knowledge of an inmate.
“It does occur, but it makes you wonder what staff want to risk to go engage in such activity when an inmate’s there for a reason … When you place people in those types of relationships, some people are going to act appropriately and some people aren’t. Some officers are going to abuse their authority, others aren’t,” Rubino said.
According to court documents, Koehler told investigators it happened in the jail laundry room after “one thing led to another.” He told investigators it was consensual, but Deputy Chief Rubino said that doesn’t matter.
“Because of the nature of the custodial relationship and when somebody’s incarcerated, they’re being held against their will, by order of the court, so that provides them some level of protection. You don’t want sexual contact to occur,” Rubino said.
Rubino said the inmate was not charged.
WAVY News stopped by Koehler’s home Friday, but a woman there did not want to comment. The superintendent for the jail did not want to talk about the case, but said Koehler no longer works there. Koehler’s attorney declined to comment.
Prosecutors said that even though Koehler entered a guilty plea this week, a judge will make the final determination in this case around sentencing in April. Koehler faces a sentence of up to five years in prison.