Crime and Justice

Springfield corrections officer arrested on sex charges involving inmate

Southern State

Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. File photo by Phoebe Sheehan/VTDigger

A corrections officer at the Springfield prison has been arrested for sex crimes involving an inmate at the facility, according to Vermont State Police.

Cameron Morin, 21, of Newfane, was arrested Thursday on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct and sexual exploitation of an inmate, state police said in a news release issued Thursday night.

In addition, he was issued a civil violation ticket for introduction of contraband, tobacco, into the facility, the statement added.

According to the release, the charges follow a five-week investigation into allegations of sexual assault on an inmate.

State police received a report Dec. 17 from the state Department of Corrections regarding a complaint made to the DOC investigations hotline by an inmate at the Springfield prison, according to the release.

The male inmate alleged in his complaint “sexual contact/assault by a correctional officer at the facility,” the release added.

Through an investigation police said they determined that corrections officer in question was Morin, leading to his arrest Thursday at the facility.

Morin was released on a citation to appear March 12 at the Windsor County Superior criminal court in White River Junction for an arraignment on the charges.

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No other information was immediately available.

The Springfield prison, formally known as Southern State Correctional Facility, is an all-male facility with room for 370 inmates and 146 state employee positions, according to the DOC website.

The prison has been in the news recently for other incidents, including several changes in leadership.

In September Lesa Trowt was named interim superintendent of the facility. Trowt replaced Edward Adams, who had taken the post following the firing of Mark Potanas in early 2017.

No reason was given by DOC for Adams’ dismissal.

Potanas was fired from his job at the Springfield prison in early 2017, according to DOC internal documents, for bullying medical personnel into changing an assessment of a mentally ill inmate to allow him to be kept in solitary confinement.

Also, this week, Thomas Badger, 42, who had been an inmate at the Springfield, facility, died after allegedly falling on purpose from a second tier of a housing unit. The fall occurred on Jan. 11 and Badger died of his injuries on Wednesday, according to corrections officials, who termed his death an apparent suicide.

Badger had been sentenced earlier this month to 25 to 30 years in prison on sex crimes.

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