WALKER -- A former Cass County corrections officer has been charged with felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is accused of engaging in consensual sex with a female inmate.
Robert James Stoneking, 58, Longville, was arraigned June 10 in Cass County Court before Judge John P. Smith. He was released on his own recognizance pending his first court appearance with his attorney July 1.
Consent is not a defense, according to the complaint filed against Stoneking, for an instance where an employee of a correctional system engages in sexual penetration with a resident of a facility and under supervision of the correctional system.
Stoneking, a part-time corrections officer, was assigned Jan. 1 to transport a female inmate to Cass Lake Hospital in a county van to see a doctor.
Upon returning to Cass County Detention Center that date, the inmate told another corrections officer she had flirted with Stoneking and asked him to "park in the woods" on the return trip, the complaint states.
She further said Stoneking "had parked the vehicle behind a building and that she had engaged in consensual intercourse with (him)," according to the complaint.
Law enforcement investigation Jan. 1 into the allegations confirmed by impressions left in snow that a vehicle had been parked in the location the inmate indicated. This was an area the van normally would not have traveled when going to and from the hospital, the complaint adds.
"A subsequent sexual assault exam of the defendant obtained a DNA sample which indicated that (the inmate) was a possible source of DNA found on the defendant," according to the complaint.
Cass County Chief Deputy Tom Burch said Stoneking was put on administrative leave, effective Jan. 2 and as a part-time employee was not paid additional salary after that date.
Stoneking resigned from his employment with the Cass County Sheriff's Department effective Feb. 15.
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