The Kentucky State Police says an investigation found Deputy Jailer Kirby Davenport Jr. had sexual contact, not sex, with a female inmate at the Ballard County Jail. He was arrested on Sunday on misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse and official misconduct.
Davenport is on administrative leave as the case against him plays out.
"It is an embarrassment. I'm hoping it's not true, but like I said, I have to wait and see what justice will decide," said Ballard County Jailer Donnie Hall.
Hall says he called Kentucky State Police to do an investigation into Davenport after getting several tips he had sexual contact with an inmate.
"It's just really tough when you're dealing with these social issues, because people tend to forget to do the right thing," Hall said.
Staff at the jail get training on how to interact with inmates once a year, but Hall says cases like this are an issue at jails and prisons statewide. Numbers from the Kentucky Department of Corrections show since Jan. 1, 2016, 16 cases of sexual offenses by jail staff and 10 sexual harassment cases have been reported in the state.
Hall says that type of case happens at the Ballard County Jail about once every two to three years.
"They're living here, so we see them so much. It's hard not to learn who they are, to know something about them, and that's where the problems arise," Hall said.
Hall says Davenport has worked at the jail since March, so he took part in training a few months ago. While Davenport is on administrative leave, the jail has 15 deputy jailers over about 70 inmates.
Davenport will be back in Ballard County District Court on Sept. 26. Both the charges against him are class A misdemeanors, meaning he faces six to 12 months in jail for each charge.
Davenport was taken to the McCracken County Detention Center, where he was released on a $2,500 unsecured bond.
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