Crime and Justice

Springfield prison worker accused of sexual activity with inmate 

Victoria Calogero of Springfield has been charged with sexual exploitation of an inmate. Vermont State Police photo

A counselor who worked at the Springfield prison is facing charges for allegedly having repeated sexual contact with an inmate at the facility, according to Vermont State Police.

Victoria H. Calogero, 31, of Springfield has been charged with sexual exploitation of an inmate, state police said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

She was released on a citation to appear Feb. 25 in criminal court in White River Junction for an arraignment. 

According to the press release, starting in September state police and the Vermont Department of Corrections joined in an investigation into an alleged sexual relationship at the Springfield prison. 

Police said Calogero, who was a contractor, was working as a licensed mental health counselor in 2017 and 2018, and during that time she “engaged in numerous instances of sexual contact with an inmate, inside the prison.”

Interim Corrections Commissioner James Baker, who started work on Monday, declined to comment about the charges in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

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 in recent years for other incidents, including several changes in leadership.

In September 2018, Edward Adams, who had taken the superintendent’s post following the firing of Mark Potanas in early 2017, was placed on leave.

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Potanas was fired from his job at Springfield facility 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.

No reason has been given for Adams dismissal, though VTDigger has filed a public records lawsuit seeking documents to find that out.

Ed Adams
Then-Superintendent Edward Adams speaks about a program at Southern State Correctional Facility in July 2018. Photo by James M. Patterson/Valley News

Last month VTDigger reported the state signed a confidential agreement with Adams in December 2018.

According to documents obtained by VTDigger, Adams was demoted to a probation officer job and his rate of pay maintained at $45 per hour.

However, the reason for Adams’ removal from that post has still not been released by the state.  Records made public so far say only that he was investigated after employee “allegations.”

Also, a corrections officer at the Springfield prison, Cameron Morin of Newfane, was charged last year in a sex case involving an inmate at the facility. 

The Valley News reported that in November Morin pleaded guilty to a lewd and lascivious conduct charge and no contest to a sexual exploitation charge.

Morin, who no longer for with the corrections department, is awaiting sentencing. 

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Laura Stone

Looks like proof that higher rates of pay does not necessarily mean you will get a higher quality employee. Something to consider for the argument against government forced raised minimum wages.

Look at what she made and look at what she did.

 

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