Former Jailer Sentenced in Sex Encounter With Inmate - The Missourian: Top Stories

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Former Jailer Sentenced in Sex Encounter With Inmate

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Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 12:05 pm | Updated: 3:23 pm, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

A former Franklin County jailer will spend at least four months in jail for having sexual contact with a female inmate in 2010.

Damon Berti, 25, Sullivan, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 14, to four years in prison on each of two counts of sexual contact with a prisoner by a jail employee.

Circuit Judge Gael Wood ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, then suspended execution of those sentences. Judge Wood then ordered that Berti be incarcerated for 120 days under an early release program.

After his release Berti will be on supervised probation for five years and will be required to complete a sexual offender treatment program and 50 hours of community service work within one year. He must pay court costs plus pay into the crime victims compensation fund, have no contact with the victim and abide by all conditions of the Sexual Offender Supervision Agreement, according to the judge's order.

Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said Berti was taken into custody Friday after the sentencing hearing and will serve the 120-day sentence in the Crawford County Jail. He will be required to pay the $40 per day jail fee.

Berti pleaded guilty to the two felony counts last May after his case was transferred to Gasconade County on a change of venue.

Parks said he agreed to drop a third felony charge of rape as part of the plea agreement.

Berti was indicted in May 2010 by a Franklin County grand jury following an investigation of a complaint filed by a female inmate March 5, 2010.

Berti was immediately suspended and later resigned pending a disciplinary hearing and criminal investigation. He had worked about a year as a Franklin County detention officer prior to the alleged incident in March 2010.

Berti admitted to the contact, but stated that it was consensual, according to a sheriff's office report. The inmate stated that she was forced into the act.

Missouri law forbids any sexual contact between individuals in custody and detention employees. Consent is not a defense to that crime.

Officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated the allegations.

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