A now-former Georgia corrections officer at a women’s prison is facing criminal charges after allegedly using his high-ranking position to prey on inmates and force them to have sex with him, investigators have revealed, according to the Associated Press.
Edgar Daniel Johnson reportedly groped and fondled women and forced some to have sex with him over at least a four-year period, according to sworn statements filed in warrant applications by an investigator for the Georgia Department of Corrections, the news site notes.
More than a dozen women have come forth with their stories, though the 48-year-old former officer denies all claims.
“Mr. Johnson vehemently denies the allegations, and we look forward to having the opportunity to confront these charges in court,” his attorney, Kendall Gross, said.
Johnson allegedly carried out the sexual crimes while working at Emanuel Women’s Facility in Swainsboro, Ga. AP spoke to four of his alleged victims who said that Johnson targeted their weaknesses in order to force them to comply.
One 25-year-old-woman, who had never been in prison before, told AP that at first she thought Johnson was nice and comforting. Johnson reportedly told her that he was a pastor and recited Bible passages to her. The woman was jailed after her son was injured while with her ex when the child was supposed to have been in her custody, AP reports.
“He got a feel for your story to see what angle he could come at you with,” she told AP.
The unsolicited and unwelcome comments and touches continued for another 18 months. In April 2013, the woman received notice that she would be transferred to a transitional center closer to her family in Atlanta. It was at that point that Johnson forced her to have sex with him five or six times, she said, threatening to stop the transfer if she didn’t.
A Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman told AP that the prison warden launched an investigation as soon as the allegations came out. “We take very seriously allegations of this nature, which cause unjust risk and harm to the individuals we supervise, as well as the safe operation of our facilities,” Lisa Rodriguez-Presley wrote in an email.
“We did a crime and we were sentenced, but nowhere did it say that we had to be his sex slaves,” the alleged victim told AP. “He took something from us that we can never get back.”
Read more at the New York Post.