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Johnson County correctional officer accused of sexual misconduct with inmate

Johnson County Jail.JPG
Posted at 11:50 AM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 16:17:59-05

FRANKLIN — A 28-year-old correctional officer with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office has been arrested and fired for allegedly having a relationship with a female inmate, Sheriff Duane Burgess said Friday.

Zachariah Johnson was charged Monday by prosecutors with three counts of sexual misconduct, one count of official misconduct and one count of trafficking with an inmate, according to the Johnson County Prosecutor's Office and online court records.

Burgess said he learned of the alleged relationship at about 10 a.m. Thursday. An internal investigation began and Burgess asked detectives from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to look into the case.

The correctional officer, who worked at the sheriff's office for two years, was arrested and fired after investigators interviewed him at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Burgess said.

“I appreciate Sheriff Burgess handling this investigation in such a prompt manner, and for bringing in an out-of-county agency to conduct it. One thing I wanted to ensure was transparency, regardless of how the investigation turned out," Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva said in a press release. "At this point my office will retain the case for prosecution, and we look forward to presenting our evidence in court in the future.”

An initial hearing hasn't been scheduled yet, according to court records.

WRTV Senior Digital Content Producer Andrew Smith contributed to this story.