Crime

Thurston deputy accused of sexual misconduct with an inmate is released without bail

Bail was not set for Erin A. Johnsrud, the Thurston County corrections deputy who was arrested this week on suspicion of custodial sexual misconduct, a felony. Instead, Johnsrud was released on her own personal recognizance Wednesday.
Bail was not set for Erin A. Johnsrud, the Thurston County corrections deputy who was arrested this week on suspicion of custodial sexual misconduct, a felony. Instead, Johnsrud was released on her own personal recognizance Wednesday. Tony Overman

A Thurston County corrections deputy who was arrested this week on suspicion of custodial sexual misconduct, a felony, was released on her own recognizance Wednesday after appearing in Superior Court.

Erin A. Johnsrud’s arraignment on two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct is set for Oct. 9.

Johnsrud, 48, appeared before Judge Christine Schaller Wednesday. Preliminary hearings were set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, but Johnsrud’s hearing took place at 1:15 p.m. It was not immediately clear why it was held earlier.

During the hearing, Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Megan Winder requested bail be set at $25,000, arguing that a felony sex offense involves power and control.

For the preliminary hearing, Johnsrud was represented by public defender, Kevin Griffin, but Johnsrud plans to hire a private attorney, Winder said.

Court documents give the following account between Johnsrud and the female inmate:

The investigation began by listening to jail phone calls, including a three-way phone call.

“A three-way phone call is made when an inmate calls an individual, and that individual in return transfers the call to a third-party,” the court documents read. “On at least one occasion, the three-way call was successfully made and the victim had a conversation with Corrections Deputy Johnsrud.”

The victim said the relationship started just by talking, but then became physical during a strip search for drugs. The victim told detectives that Johnsrud touched her genitals and kissed her on multiple occasions.

The inmate later said she felt like she “really could not say no,” and just let her do it. She also claimed that Johnsrud became jealous when another inmate rubbed her back.

Later, Johnsrud took the victim to the “hole” for an additional 30 days in custody for verbally fighting with another inmate. The victim believes that was done out of retaliation for wanting to slow the relationship down.

Detectives asked the inmate whether a relationship would have happened if Johnsrud was not a corrections deputy.

“Probably not,” the inmate said.

Johnsrud has denied the allegations.

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