September 2, 2014

Elyria
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Corrections employee indicted for sexual battery

ELYRIA — A Lorain Correctional Institution diet technician has been indicted for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with an inmate at the facility in 2011.

Rodgers

Richard Rodgers, 47, who lives in Berea, is set to be arraigned today on a single count of sexual battery.

According to a report from the Ohio Highway Patrol, which investigates crimes in prisons, the alleged sexual contact happened between September and December 2011.

“Inmate performed sexual favors for an employee in return for goods,” the initial incident summary stated.

Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Dave Muhek said Rodgers and a male inmate engaged in oral sex. Even if that conduct was consensual, he said, it was still a crime because of Rodgers’ status as a prison worker.

“The focus of our involvement is we have a person who works for the system who has sexual contact with someone in the institution,” Muhek said.

Mike Davis, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Rodgers was hired as diet technician in October 2010.

He worked at both Lorain Correctional and Grafton Correctional Institution checking food quality and working on inmates’ dietary needs.

Davis said Rodgers went on voluntary leave in August 2012, which is the same month the Patrol’s report indicates the allegations against him were first reported.

The internal investigation into Rodgers’ conduct is on hold while the criminal case makes its way through the system, Davis said.

Rodgers was freed on bond following his arrest last week, according to court records.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.