Volusia County corrections officer accused of sexual misconduct with inmate, sheriff’s office says

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Florida. – A Volusia County corrections officer was arrested this week following an investigation into “suspicious activity,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Volusia County Corrections Lt. Jonathan Harding faces charges of employee/inmate sexual misconduct, illegal use of a two-way communications device and three counts of introducing contraband into a county detention center, including two felonies and one misdemeanor, the Volusia sheriff said. Office said.

According to a press release, Harding aroused the suspicions of other corrections officers earlier this month and was reported to Internal Affairs.

An investigation began immediately, the release said, and once sufficient evidence was recovered, Harding was reassigned to duties outside the Corrections Division.

Harding was secured without incident around 1 p.m. Wednesday, booked into the Volusia County Jail and held in administrative segregation, according to the sheriff’s office. His pretrial detention would take place at a correctional facility outside of Volusia County if he is returned to custody, the release said.

Further details of the investigation are not available at the time of writing this report. The sheriff’s office noted that Harding began working for Volusia County Corrections in 2011 and had not faced any disciplinary action before his arrest this week.

Harding is on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the trial, the sheriff’s office said. His first court appearance was scheduled for Thursday morning.

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