- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ASHDOWN, Ark. (AP) - A former Little River County jail administrator has been charged in the sexual assault of an inmate at the Ashdown jail.

Forty-four-year-old Mary Gibson appeared in court Tuesday and was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and furnishing prohibited articles. She was arrested on Monday after an investigation by the Arkansas State Police.

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory says he was contacted by a citizen in early September about the alleged illegal activity of the jail administrator. According to an arrest affidavit, Gibson would let the inmate out of his cell and walk with him to a storage building, where they would smoke cigarettes and kiss. Gibson is also accused of fondling the inmate.

Authorities also say the two would eat food Gibson had purchased in her office or on the courthouse lawn, where security cameras are not recording. The affidavit says Gibson would call a jailer on his cellphone and have him take the inmate out of his cell, and then hand the phone to the inmate so she could speak with him.

According to authorities, the incidents happened between May and August. The administrator has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

Gibson has a court-appointed attorney and has denied the allegations. She is being held in the Lafayette County Jail in Lewisville on $20,000 bond.

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