Benton County Correctional Officer Pleads Not-Guilty To Sexual Misconduct Charges

Benton County Correctional Officer Oscar Gonzalez plead not-guilty to sexual misconduct with an inmate.

Gonzalez is facing second degree sexual misconduct charges after allegedly touching an inmate inappropriately.

The Benton County sheriff's office said Gonzalez allegedly made inappropriate physical contact with a 39-year-old female inmate on two separate occasions.

Gonzalez, an eight year veteran of the corrections office, was fired last month.

Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane said the inmate is on work release, and officers were made aware of the incident after she came back to the jail intoxicated and during questioning made claims against Gonzalez.

Keane said whether the contact was consensual or not it is against the law because the officier is in a position of power over the inmate.

"Corrections officers are placed in positions of authority and they are given the authority by the citizens that we serve, and with this authority comes a certain amount of public trust, and with that public trust it is incumbent upon us to go out each and every day and earn that trust," said Kean.

Kean said when that trust is broken it's important for them to aggressively investigate and prosecute the cases.

Gonzalez's trial is set for July 7th.

The name of the victim is not being released because she is still an inmate at the jail. 

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