A former Casper Re-Entry Center employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to an allegation of having a sexual relationship with an inmate at the facility while she worked there.
Andrea Morgan entered a conditional plea of guilty in Natrona County District Court to a third-degree count of sexual assault as part of a plea deal. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a second-degree count of sexual assault.
Morgan’s attorney and prosecutors agreed to recommend that she serve three years of supervised probation in lieu of a two-to-four year prison sentence. If she violates the terms of her probation, she will likely serve the prison time.
The plea deal also allows for prosecutors to argue at sentencing for Morgan to spend time at Casper Re-Entry Center.
The conditional nature of the plea means Morgan can still appeal a previous decision in the case.
Prosecutor Trevor Schenk, who handled Wednesday’s hearing in Kevin Taheri’s place, said he was unsure which decision Morgan’s attorneys could appeal. The defense had previously contested the constitutionality of the the state statute governing her conduct. Judge Daniel Forgey ruled against her attorney’s constitutional arguments in November.
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.
Morgan told investigators that she had sexual contact with the inmate while he was at the Casper Re-Entry Center, and that they had sex the evening he was released from the facility, according to court documents.
In a later interview, the inmate confirmed Morgan’s admissions. He was still on probation when he was released.