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Former jailer charged in inmate encounters

By June 15, 2023July 3rd, 2023No Comments

A former McCurtain County jailer has been charged with sexual battery after a jail investigator discovered at least 29 instances of sexual acts between the suspect and a county jail inmate.
On June 5, this newspaper learned through jail sources that a former female jailer was under investigation for having sex with an inmate. The source said there were multiple female jailers that were alleged to have had sex with male inmates over the past few months.
Hannah E. Forte, 21, of Mountain View, Ark., was charged with a felony count of sexual battery on June 9 in district court, according to a district attorney’s filing.
In a sworn statement, McCurtain County Jail Trust officer Audreyauna Childers said the following:
On April 28, the county jail was alerted to outgoing mail between an inmate and what jail staff discovered was a county jailer using a fake name.
Upon learning that the person using the fake name was Forte, jail staff began observing interactions between her and inmates.
Forte was using a fake name, but the messages were sent to her personal email address and cell phone number, the report said.
A jail investigator said Forte was seen on video going to a stairwell with one inmate 29 times between Feb 7 and April 5 of this year.
Each “visit,” which the report called intimate encounters, lasted around four minutes, the investigator wrote in her report.
On one instance Forte’s face is flush after a “visit” and the inmate smells his fingers, the report said.
The investigation found that Forte used a jail computer to Google search ‘detention officers having relationship with inmates.’ Forte also followed the inmate’s YouTube account, viewed it numerous times and put several hundred dollars on his county jail account and the accounts of several other inmates, the report said.
After being no longer employed at the jail, Forte had video chats with the inmate, all of which were captured and logged by the jail.
Sheriff’s deputies and the jail trust officers attempted to interview the inmate in question, but he refused to say anything. However, after the interview attempt he messaged Forte that he was being investigated, but told her not to worry because “they’re investigating me again, baby, not mama tho.”
The pair then talked on the phone about why their relationship was being investigated.
Forte said she is getting a divorce and her husband was also employed formerly as a jailer, but he promised her he wouldn’t say anything about her relationship with an inmate.
Officer Childers noted that Forte’s husband had been employed at the jail and quit suddenly in December 2022.
Childers also noted pictures Forte sent the inmate of her in the bathtub with a fresh tattoo on her left hand of the inmate’s first name.
Jail staff transferred the inmate to another facility out of the county.
Both Forte and the inmate refused to speak to officers.
Forte was employed at the county jail from Feb 15, 2022, to April 6, 2023, Childers said in her sworn statement.
Jail sources told the paper there were other female jailers that were alleged to be having sexual relationships with male inmates, but one in question was fired earlier this year after an escape attempt.