- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri jail nurse has been charged with having sex with an inmate and two jail officers are charged with helping.

Warrants were issued Thursday for nurse Janet Phillips, who was contracted to work at the Morgan County Jail, and the two officers, Elizabeth Knipp and Robert Hoover. All three were charged Monday with sexual contact with an inmate and delivering prohibited articles to the jail. Phillips, 31, faces an additional count of bribery of a public servant and Knipp, 26, of concealing a felony and acceding to corruption.

A sheriff’s department captain wrote in the probable cause statement that Phillips had sex with 46-year-old Vernon Dale Parker from September through November, when he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to five years of probation.

Phillips ex-boyfriend told the captain that he had found a love letter in Phillips‘ car and saw that she had received text messages from an inmate at the jail in Versailles, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City, Missouri. The ex-boyfriend brought a baggie of burned letter fragments, alleging Phillips had attempted to destroy the correspondence, according to the probable cause statement.

When questioned by authorities, Phillips admitted to having sex with Parker at least five times in the inmate property room. A search of her car yielded a pregnancy test and a power of attorney from Parker to Phillips. Phillips told deputies she believed she was pregnant by Parker and said she sent a picture of the positive pregnancy test to Knipp to show Parker. Phillips also said she had brought tobacco pouches into the jail for Parker, the captain wrote.

Phillips‘ attorney declined to comment, while the sheriff’s office and special prosecutor assigned to the case didn’t return phone messages from The Associate Press. No attorney is listed for Parker in online court records.

Knipp told authorities she had brought a phone into the jail for Parker’s use and that Phillips paid her $100 to keep details of the affair secret, the probable cause statement said.

Hoover, 25, also admitted that he knew of the relationship and said Phillips told him she and Parker were going to start a life together once Parker was released.

No attorney is listed for Hoover in online court records. Knipp’s lawyer didn’t return a phone message from AP.


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