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A former Casper Re-Entry Center worker pleaded guilty on Thursday to having a sexual relationship with an inmate while she worked at the center.

Tosha Sheesley entered her plea to a single count of third-degree sexual assault in Natrona County District Court. In exchange for her pleas, prosecutors agreed to dismiss two second-degree sexual assault charges against her.

As part of the deal, Prosecutor Kevin Taheri said he will recommend that Sheesley serve three years of probation in lieu of a three- to five-year prison sentence. If she violates the conditions of her bond before sentencing, prosecutors will be able to argue for prison time.

Sheesley’s plea is conditional, meaning she can appeal an earlier ruling by Judge Catherine Wilking to a higher court. If a higher court overrules Wilking’s decision to decline a dismissal motion, Thursday’s plea would no longer apply.

When Wilking asked Sheesley for her plea, the defendant responded with one word.

“Guilty,” she said in a clipped tone.

Sheesley, a former resident manager at the re-entry center, told the court she had sexual contact with an inmate while employed at the facility. The intimate encounters took place away from the center, she said.

She did not specify on Thursday what the nature of the sexual contact was. Sheesley had already admitted to having sex with the man while she worked at the facility, according to court documents. She told investigators that she knew having sex with the inmate was illegal.

According to court documents, Sheesley also told investigators that the sexual contact took place between February and March. Sheesley worked for the re-entry center from Nov. 28, 2016, through March 30, 2017. The inmate was at the facility until March 15, when he was allegedly found with methamphetamine while at the center. He was then jailed.

The investigation began when the inmate was arrested in the meth incident. His cell phone was confiscated and messages were found between the man and Sheesley.

Sheesley remained free on bond Thursday.

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 operated by 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.

Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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