BAY CITY, MI – Sean M. Desjarlais, 44 years old, who is employed as a corrections officer at the Bay County Jail is alleged to have sexually assaulted a female inmate at the jail while on duty. Authorities are alleging he used his position to obtain sexual favors from the inmate.
Desjarlais has been arraigned on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of lying to a peace officer. He appeared before Bay County Chief District Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Wednesday, Aug. 6th, 2014 voluntarily.
An investigation was brought against Sean Desjarlais after a 30 year old female inmate told investigators that on the evening of June 11th, 2014 he gave her and her cellmate coffee as he made his rounds. The inmate made the statement, according court records, that she gave Desjarlais a hug, at which point, he kissed her on the lips and put his hand inside her pants, touching her buttocks and vaginal area before then putting his hand under her shirt and feeling her breasts.
It is also alleged that on June 12th, 2014 Corrections Officer Desjarlais again gave the inmate and her cellmate coffee, along with candy bars and a digital camera. Desjarlais instructed the female inmate to take photographs of herself with the camera. She stated that her cellmate took photographs of her with the camera in suggestive poses and while she was completely nude. The female inmate states that she gave the camera back to Desjarlais later that day. She also made a statement to investigators that he had her touch his penis.
Sean Desjarlais was interviewed twice by detectives. During his initial interview he denied any wrongdoing. It was in the subsequent interview that he did admit he hugged and kissed the woman on the cheek and rubbed her butt above her clothing and touched her breast with his finger.
Judge Kelly set his bond at $35,000 cash-surety or 10 percent.
The sexual offense is limited to touching and does not include penetration. It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Lying to a peace officer, if convicted, is a two-year high court misdemeanor.
Judge Kelly did acknowledge that Desjarlais has no criminal record or indication of substance abuse history. He did however say he was concerned because of the serious nature of the alleged offense and “the probability of conviction.”
It is unclear why Judge Kelly set the bond so low given the offenses. Sean Desjarlais was only required to pay $3,500, 10% of the $35,000 bond, to get out of jail.