Monday, August 8, 2016

Former Arkansas women's prison chaplain sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault of inmates

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 6:27 PM

DEWITT:  Sentenced to five years.
  • DEWITT: Sentenced to five years.
Kenneth Dewitt, a former Arkansas women's prison chaplain, was sentenced to five years in prison today after pleading guilty last month to three counts of sexual assault. Dewitt was originally charged with 50 counts of third-degree assault for sex with inmates. 

The case drew attention in June of last year when reporting by Claudia Lauer of the Associated Press identified Dewitt and indicated the investigation may have spread to other prison workers.

According to information that the Correction Department provided to prosecutors, Dewitt initiated sexual activity and had sex with three inmates, a crime for a Correction Department employee.

Dewitt's religious program was associated with Bill Gothard, a conservative evangelical minister wit his own history of sexual misconduct allegations.

The Arkansas Department of Correction issued the following statement, from ADC Director Wendy Kelley: 

The Arkansas Department of Correction has taken, and will continue to take, allegations of sexual abuse in its institutions seriously. State law prohibits any form of sexual contact between correctional staff and inmates. The Department will do everything in its power to protect the inmates in its custody from becoming victims of any form of sexual abuse. The Department cooperated fully with the investigation into Kenneth Dewitt's behavior and appreciates the work of the Arkansas State Police and Prosecutor Henry Boyce and his staff. Dewitt acknowledged that his actions were criminal by entering his guilty plea.

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