A former employee at a northern New York county jail has pleaded guilty to charges she engaged in sexual misconduct with three inmates under her supervision.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the conviction Tuesday. Jennifer Parker, of Lisbon, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, a class E felony, and official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor.
Parker worked as a kitchen supervisor at St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility in Canton. She admitted that she engaged in oral sex with an inmate between June 2011 and July 2011. She also admitted to engaging in oral sex with a second inmate in May 2012.
Between February and March 2014, Parker forcibly touched a third inmate under her supervision.
Under state law, inmates aren't capable of consent while incarcerated.
"No corner of our society should be beyond the shade of justice, not even correctional facilities," James said. "This individual was entrusted with serving our state, but instead took advantage of her role and the individuals she was responsible for overseeing — putting inmates and the entire facility at risk. This type of behavior will never be tolerated."
Parker worked for nearly eight years as the head cook at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. She resigned in June 2018.
In December, Parker was indicted on 16 counts. The indictment followed a joint investigation by the attorney general's office and the New York State Police.
After her guilty pleas, Parker will be sentenced May 20. She will be required to register as a sex offender.
"This guilty plea demonstrates that those people who are placed in a position of trust and violate that responsibility will be held accountable for their actions," Acting State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett said.