A former Casper Re-Entry Center employee pleaded not guilty Friday to two felony charges that allege she had a sexual relationship with an inmate.

Prosecutors charged Andrea Morgan, 45, with one count of second-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault in January. She pleaded not guilty to both of those charges at her arraignment Friday morning in Natrona County District Court.

Morgan is the second former Casper Re-Entry Center employee this year to face charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with an inmate.

Per Wyoming law, it is illegal for an employee of a correctional institution to have sex with any inmate, regardless of age or consent. The Casper Re-Entry Center is a private company that the Wyoming Department of Corrections contracts with to provide rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment to inmates before they are released from custody.

Investigators with the Department of Corrections began looking into the allegations in April 2016. Morgan had worked as a contract health services administrator at the privately owned corrections facility until March 31, 2016.

In interviews with an investigator, Casper Re-Entry Center employees and inmates said that the inmate spent a lot of time with Morgan in the medical department and the two sometimes shared meals.

Morgan told investigators that she and the inmate were in a relationship but that the relationship started very recently. She said that she submitted her resignation on March 4, 2016, and that it would become effective April 1 of that year.

She said that the inmate stayed with her at her home for a few days after he was released on March 30, 2016. She denied that the two ever had sexual or romantic contact.

But when investigators interviewed the inmate later that day, he said that they had kissed and held hands multiple times while he was at the Re-Entry Center.

Investigators re-interviewed Morgan about a week later and she admitted that she had touched the inmate’s penis while he was at the Casper Re-Entry Center and that they had sex the evening he was released from the facility, on March 30, 2016.

In a later interview, the inmate confirmed Morgan’s admissions and said that she had touched his genitals and that the two had sex the night he was released. He was still on probation when he was released.

Morgan faces sentences of up to 20 years in prison for the second-degree sexual assault charge and up to 15 years for the third-degree charge. She remained free on $5,000 bond Friday.

Another former Casper Re-Entry Center employee also faces sexual assault charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with an inmate. Tamara Buckles, a former resident manager at the facility, pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault in February.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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Features Editor

Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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