Authorities in Arkansas say two women working for the Pope County Sheriff’s Department are facing criminal charges for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with an inmate.
According to KATV, Lauren Elliott and Billie Tucker were arrested and both suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday.
Reports indicate Tucker is expected to face criminal charges including fourth-degree sexual assault and introducing prohibited articles into a correctional facility. Elliott faces fourth-degree sexual assault.
The sheriff’s office confirmed both women were fired upon their arrest. The inappropriate sexual contact involved the same man, who is reportedly still behind bars at the facility.
On Friday, Russellville police began investigating allegations of a sexual relationship involving the suspects.
One local woman said she was shocked to hear Elliott, someone she had often seen working behind the desk at the sheriff’s office, had been arrested in connection with the claims.
“Wow,” Alexa Brown said. “See, you never know who you can trust. That is like the nicest girl. She seemed smiley. She smiled at my baby. The outside of her seemed like she did good. She made a life out of herself. This is a good woman.”
Initial reports offered few additional details pending the resolution of the investigation.
The sheriff released a statement acknowledging the arrest and expressing his remorse upon hearing the charges against his staff members.
“I am heartbroken by the betrayal of two trusted employees and these actions will not be tolerated,” he said.
[Featured image: Lauren Elliott and Billie Tucker/Pope County Sheriff’s Department]