- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - A southwest Idaho judge has rejected a plea deal between prosecutors and a former Idaho juvenile corrections nurse accused of having sex with juvenile inmates.

Valerie Lieteau on Tuesday withdrew her guilty plea to aggravated assault after 3rd District Court Judge Christopher Nye rejected the deal.

Lieteau, 42, is now scheduled to go to trial Oct. 24 on two counts of sexual battery on a minor and two counts of sexual contact with a juvenile inmate.

Lieteau, who worked at the facility from 2008 to 2011, told police in 2014 that she had conducted classes on sexually transmitted diseases and only engaged with inmates professionally. She was charged in June 2015.

Under the proposed plea deal, Lieteau pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and faced up to five years in prison as well as having to register as a sex offender. Nye rejected that deal without explanation. If Lieteau hadn’t withdrawn her aggravated assault guilty plea, she could have faced a lengthier sentence.

A previous investigation into sexual abuse at the center has led to the firing of several employees, and several former inmates have filed lawsuits.

One of the lawsuits claims that Lieteau had sex with two 18-year-olds and a 17-year-old. The lawsuit said that Lieteau took an 18-year-old into a private examination room or other areas out of range of cameras and had sex with him at least 15 times.

The lawsuit also said that, after the 18-year-old was released, Lieteau went to his hometown at least twice and had sex with him there.

In another case, a former supervisor at the facility was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year for having sex with a 15-year-old male inmate.

Julie McCormick was released from jail in February 2015 through a process called retained jurisdiction. As part of that process, her sentence was changed to 10 years of supervised probation.

In all, 11 males and one female say they were sexually abused by workers at the center.


Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com

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