Sergeant faces sexual abuse charge at Pewee Valley prison

-A A +A

An officer charged with sexual abuse of inmates at the Pewee Valley women’s prison will soon appear in court.

James Johnson, a correctional officer with the Kentucky Correctional Institutional for Women in Pewee Valley, is charged with sexual abuse and trafficking prescription drugs last summer.

He appeared in Shelby County circuit court recently.

Johnson, 52, of Frankfort, was arrested  in July 2011 and charged with 21 counts of second-degree sexual abuse as it applies to a Department of Corrections employee subjecting an incarcerated person to sexual contact.

He is also charged with seven counts of official misconduct, one count second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and one count of first-degree promotion of contraband.

Kentucky State Police Detective Kevin Calhoon said the investigation by Post 12 detectives revealed that Johnson, a sergeant at the prison, allegedly supplied controlled substances to female inmates he abused.

Johnson has worked at the prison for nine years.

Second-degree sexual abuse carries a penalty of up to a year in prison for each charge, as does official misconduct.

Calhoon said the alleged abuse had been taking place for an unspecified amount of time.  Johnson is still employed by the Department of Corrections and has been placed on administrative leave until the outcome of the investigation.

His next court date is March 19.

Neither prison officials nor Johnson’s attorney, Mary Rives, returned calls for comment.

Story by Lisa King, staff writer at the Shelby Sentinel News. Email us about this story at: news@oldhamera.com.