FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — An officer at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center has resigned amid allegations he had sexual contact with an inmate.
Todd M. Watson, 36, of Reynoldsburg, resigned from his job as a juvenile detention officer on June 4, about a month after an investigation began into allegations that he touched a female inmate inappropriately while working an overnight shift.
According to an investigation report in Watson's personnel file, a female inmate told a shift supervisor on May 7 that another inmate told her that she had a sexual encounter with Watson a week earlier. The reporting inmate said the other girl told her she had agreed with Watson that if they woke up anyone, she would say Watson brought her a towel.
When the supervisor asked Watson about the encounter, he denied it, as did the juvenile inmate he was accused of touching.
About a week later, that inmate told another detention officer that an officer touched her inappropriately.
In a second interview with supervisor Thomas J. Ward, the inmate then said that she was asleep in her room when Watson came in carrying a towel.
He then touched her buttocks and breasts and tried to kiss her before she pushed him away and told him to leave, the girl said.
Security cameras showed that Watson entered the girl's cell area carrying a towel.
Watson told his supervisor that he brought the girl a towel in case she was cold, though she had not requested one, the report states. He denied that any sexual activity took place.
Ward wrote in his report that he could not substantiate what had happened between Watson and the girl. He then recommended that Watson be disciplined for entering the girl's cell without permission and without notifying a superior.
Herb Henderson, the center's superintendent, objected to Ward's conclusion, recommending that Watson should be fired for violating the facility's prohibition against any sexual conduct between employees and inmates.
Watson resigned about two weeks later.
An investigation into the matter by Franklin County Children's Services determined that there were indications Watson sexually abused the inmate. The investigation was sent to the Franklin County sheriff's office, which has begun to look into the matter.