South Ga. cop charged with fondling inmate

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ALMA, Ga. -- A former Alma police officer has been charged with fondling a female inmate after getting her out of her cell at the Bacon County jail last week.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Christopher Wayne Harlin, 39, Thursday on one count of sexual assault of a person in custody.

Alma Police Chief Brandon Sellers fired Harlin immediately after his arrest. Harlin was a corporal who had been with the department about 11 years.

"We've got to police ourselves like we police everybody else," Sellers said.

After his booking into jail, Harlin was freed on bail. He could not be reached for comment Friday. If convicted, he faces 10 to 30 years in prison.

Harlin is accused of fondling the woman, 21, early April 17 in a room at the police department, which is in the same building as the Bacon County Sheriff's Office and jail.

The woman had been in jail on charges of driving with a suspended license and violating probation in Lowndes County, Sellers said.

She and Harlin were acquaintances before her arrest. She told investigators that she consented, Sellers said. Under Georgia law, consent is not a defense when the victim is under control of a law enforcement officer.

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WW1949
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WW1949 04/23/11 - 10:34 am
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You know that was probably a

You know that was probably a set up by her to try and sue the police department. Why would he even trust a female in jail. Could there have been a previous relationship there? Not too smart on his part.

tuffenuf4u
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tuffenuf4u 04/23/11 - 10:53 am
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Us men, always thinking with

Us men, always thinking with the wrong head!

Cadence
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Cadence 04/23/11 - 11:09 am
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Yes it said they knew each

Yes it said they knew each other.

corgimom
34079
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corgimom 04/23/11 - 11:18 am
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Hey, why did that

Hey, why did that correctional officer do the wild thing with Susan Smith? Susan Smith???

Because there are a whole lot of people out there that are just plain idiots, that's why. And here's another one to put on the list.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 04/23/11 - 06:07 pm
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At first, I was going to say

At first, I was going to say throw him under the jail becasue we don't need dirty police officers and as you can see from this and other cases, the police WILL arrest the police when needed.

However, after reading that they both knew each other and the actions were consentual between both parties, he was simply and idiot. He should be fired but his poor judgement between him and friend where they both were consenting adults should not put him behind bars.

Einstein
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Einstein 04/23/11 - 06:11 pm
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Several states including

Several states including California, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, and Washington allow conjugal visits. Since it is clear that these two people had a relationship prior to incarceration and that this was consensual, I hope that they show some leniency on the prison guard in this case. It's obvious that this wasn't an abuse of authority on his part, which is the scenario that I believe the law was attempting to protect against anyway.

bclicious
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bclicious 04/23/11 - 11:32 pm
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Although discretion could be

Although discretion could be used by the courts here, the law is clear about relationships between certain professions of power and the people who are in their care, custody, and control. For instance, a patient does not have the ability to give his/her psychiatrist consent for sexual relations. The same goes for police officers and correctional officers to detainees.

On a side note, the law was Amended in last couple of years to reflect that students, regardless of age, can no longer give consent for sexual relations with a teacher.

Einstein
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Einstein 04/24/11 - 08:39 am
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Interesting. Thanks for

Interesting. Thanks for sharing that info. I wasn't aware of the recent changes. Discretion could be used on the law enforcement side of the equation as well. The quotes made by the arresting officer make it clear that he was proud to arrest the offender in this case.

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