Alabama prison guard accused of sex with inmate in laundry room

A federal corrections officer in Alabama agreed to plead guilty to charges that he had sex with a female inmate in a laundry room and asked a co-worker to lie about it, prosecutors said Wednesday.

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Eric Todd Ellis was a guard at The Federal Correctional Institution in Aliceville when he had intercourse with the inmate in the prison’s laundry room on June 11, 2020, AL.com reported, citing court records made public Wednesday.

Ellis is charged with sex abuse of an adult ward in custody and intimidation or force against a witness, the website reported. The charges and plea agreement were filed simultaneously in the North District of Alabama, AL.com reported.

According to charging documents, Ellis previously admitted the sex act to a co-worker in a recorded call. On Sept. 5, 2020, during an investigation by the Office of Inspector General, authorities alleged Ellis told his co-worker, “Just tell (the OIG agents), ‘Yeah, we’re friends but, I mean, you hadn’t really talked to me about it and when you have, it’s -- I’ve just told you nothing happened.’”

A judge still must accept the plea; upon acceptance, a sentencing date will be set, AL.com reported.

Ellis faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the sex abuse charge, and up to 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $250,000 on the witness intimidation charge, the website reported.

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