Crime & Courts

SC prison officer groped women and tried to blame it on inmates, warrants say

File photo
File photo

A South Carolina correctional officer faces multiple assault charges for touching women inappropriately at a state prison, including grabbing one woman's genitals, according to warrants.

Ronnie Evans is charged with two counts of second-degree assault and battery and one count of misconduct in office, the S.C. Department of Corrections said in a release Tuesday.

Warrants accuse Evans of inappropriately touching women at Evans Correctional Institution in Marlboro County.

A warrant for the misconduct in office charge says Evans inappropriately touched and made sexual comments "to victims and fellow correctional officers."

On March 28, Evans put his hand on the woman's crotch and squeezed, then made a crude comment, a warrant states. The next day, he pressed his body against a woman's chest and buttocks several times "while making obscene and sexual comments," according to a warrant.

Evans also grabbed the woman's buttocks and tried to blame the incident on an inmate, the warrant states.

The warrants do not indicate if the victim was an employee, an inmate or a visitor at the prison but say that Evans was entrusted with "providing the victim training and guidance."

Evans began working for the Department of Corrections in June 2016. He was arrested Thursday, the agency said.

Second-degree assault and battery carries up to three years in prison for each conviction, under South Carolina law.