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Prison chaplain's alleged hoax leads to sexual assault charges

Sexual assault charges have been filed against a Wisconsin prison chaplain after a hostage situation with an inmate was said to be an elaborate hoax. Appointed in 2001 amid controversy, the 52-year-old she was the first Wiccan prison chaplain in the state. Now she is accused of sexual assault by correctional staff, delivery of Schedule I or II narcotics and delivering illegal articles to an inmate. If convicted she could be sentenced to more than 58 years in prison, along with fines totaling $160,000.

According to a news report, the chaplain claims the inmate came to see her, barricaded her office door and proceeded to sexually assault her. The woman says she was able to defuse the situation by giving the man sleeping pills.

Prison guards apparently later intercepted a letter from the inmate to his mother saying the incident was all a hoax cooked up by the chaplain to force a transfer of both her and the inmate to another prison facility. He says he went to see her about problems with other inmates and she suggested they create the fake hostage plan. Once the door was barricaded, he asked the woman for sex and she complied. When prison guards tried to enter the office, the two role-played that the chaplain was his mother. The chaplain is said to have given the man 15 sleeping pills, which caused him to become drowsy and led to a peaceful end to the incident.

The chaplain was arraigned in September and released on bail pending her next court appearance. She has been placed on administrative leave while the Department of Corrections investigates. The potential prison term faced by the 52-year-old woman is tantamount to a life sentence. For that reason alone, she must work to prepare a meaningful defense to fight for her freedom. A Wisconsin criminal law attorney experienced in handling allegations of sexual assault may provide some support and help fight for an equitable disposition of all charges.

Source: ABC News, "Wisconsin Witch Accused of Sex Assault in Alleged Prison Hostage Plot," Colleen Curry, Sept. 15, 2011

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