(Warning: This story contains graphic content)
CLARK COUNTY, Wash. – A Clark County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy said in court that military service clouded his judgment in a case involving unwanted sexual contact with an inmate.
Christopher A. North, 29, was booked into the Clark County Jail Wednesday on charges of indecent liberties and second-degree custodial misconduct. He was fired on August 10.
The victim was a woman who was an inmate at the Clark County Jail. At the time of the incident she was placed in a changing room at the jail before being moved to the Clackamas County jail, according to court documents.
While she was changing, North allegedly watched through a door opening as she was nude from the waist up. He then began a conversation about tattoos and showed the inmate his. He then started making statements about masturbation, according to court documents.
North entered the changing room while masturbating, cornering and grabbing the victim before ejaculating on her. She reported the incident at the Clackamas County Jail, no longer trusting the staff at the Clark County Jail, the documents said.
In a subsequent interview, North denied what happened, saying instead that he took her clothing out to his car and ejaculated on them.
In court, he said service in the Marine Corps had led to underlying mental health issues for which he will be seen by the Veteran's Affairs office. He said he is "a zero threat to anybody."
North has been employed as a corrections deputy since January 2015.
"I take this extremely seriously", said Sheriff Chuck Atkins in a news release. "I will not allow this type of misconduct to take place in my jail."
The prosecution asked for $100,000 bail because they said they believe North is a threat to the community.
“Part of the reason for our request for $100,000 bail is it’s an abuse of trust and it’s something the legal system, if you have a position of trust and you use that position we consider that a reason for to ask for bail or a higher sentence that kind of thing,” said Clark County Prosecutor Patrick Robinson.
The judge settled on $50,000 bail.
North is not allowed to contact the victim and he’s not allowed to have any weapons. When asked if he knew the victim, he said he did not.
As for North’s criminal history, Robinson said North was charged with minor in possession and assault 4 when he was a minor in 2004. He completed a diversion program.
North’s attorney was not present Wednesday, but is expected to be present at his next court date on Aug. 10.
Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office at 877-274-6311 or 360-397-2120.