Veteran officer charged over sexual contact with inmate

MAYVILLE – A corrections officer with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office has been charged after allegedly having sexual contact with a female inmate.

Jeffrey Swan, who had worked for the Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years, resigned from his position in February shortly after a joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office led to his suspension.

He was indicted by a grand jury last week and later arrested.

“It angers me deeply,” said Joseph Gerace, Chautauqua County sheriff. “I am beyond words when it comes to this … it’s not what we stand for.”

David Foley, Chautauqua County District Attorney, indicated that the sexual contact allegedly occurred between January and February of this year.

Swan is charged with third-degree criminal sexual act, which is a Class E felony, Foley said.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for June 16, during which possible pleas and sentences will be discussed.

Foley and Gerace could not comment on the nature of the sexual contact or whether it was consensual, but indicated that it is prohibited either way.

“In this state, an inmate is incapable of giving consent to any sexual contact,” Gerace said. “Even if they are willing participants, they do not have the ability to give consent and every correctional officer in this state knows that.”

The female inmate was a federal inmate and was transferred to another facility, according to Gerace.

“We will not tolerate (Swan’s behavior),” he said. “It’s unacceptable and criminal … and it’s being treated that way.”