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Jail Officer Fired, Arrested for Inmate Encounter

A Burleson County jail officer faces felony charges after admitting to having sexual relations with an inmate. Authorities say it's an isolated incident, one the sheriff's office dealt with immediately.

On Friday, Jon-Paul Bennett was arrested and charged with improper sexual activity with a person in custody.

Back in June, an inmate awaiting transfer to Hidalgo County told authorities that she and Bennett had consensual sex in the jail. Burleson County officials began an investigation and placed Bennett on leave.

During an interview with authorities Friday, the 27-year-old admitted to the one-time encounter, and was placed under arrest. He is out of the jail he was employed with on $10,000 bond.

Bennett had served at the facility since February, his first work in law enforcement. The jail's administrator, Lt. Mike Dotson, says all jail officers go through a four-week course, and that the very first issue they are taught is proper inmate relationships. Lt. Dotson said Bennett had no prior disciplinary problems, both as a jail employee, or on his criminal record.

All findings in the internal investigation of Bennett, including statements from current and former inmates, are being sent to the attorney general's office for them conduct their own investigation.

In four years as the jail adminstrator, Lt. Dotson said this is the first time anything of this kind has happened in Burleson County's jail.


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