All charges have been dropped against a former Clayton County jail contractor accused of repeatedly having sex with an inmate inside a kitchen freezer.
Sakura Thomas, a 39-year-old food services contractor who was assigned to the jail’s kitchen, was arrested last month on sexual assault charges after authorities said she had sex with the inmate, Channel 2 Action News reported.
But her charges were dropped Thursday morning after Clayton County prosecutors determined Thomas had no direct authority over the man.
State law makes it a felony for people in positions of power such as teachers and jailers to have sexual relationships with those in their charge. But because Thomas worked for a third-party company and was not directly employed by the jail, the law does not apply to her, authorities said.
Her attorney, Jackie Patterson, told Channel 2 his client never should have been charged because she wasn’t a corrections officer.
“She has wasted her life sitting in jail unlawfully,” he said. “You have to have supervisory or disciplinary authority over an inmate.”
According to the news station, Thomas and the inmate had an ongoing relationship. She reportedly spoke with him by phone more than 170 times while he was incarcerated, regularly sneaked him food and had his name tattooed on her wrist, authorities said.
Thomas was arrested after someone called the sheriff’s office to report that she bragged about having sex with the inmate, according to Channel 2. Deputies then listened to the inmate’s recorded phone conversations, in which the two reportedly spoke about having sex in the freezer.
Thomas is still being held at the Clayton County jail, online records show, but she’s expected to be released shortly.
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