Message from 06/16/2020
A female prison officer who has been in love with a female prisoner for several months and sent him several nude pictures of herself is removed from duty. This was decided by the Rhineland-Palatinate Supreme Administrative Court in Koblenz.
District. In December 2017, a mail check at a prison revealed several letters that the prison officer – who is currently on leave – exchanged with an inmate at the time, as well as several nude photos of her. In response to the state’s lawsuit, the statewide disciplinary chamber of the Trier Administrative Court dismissed a female prison officer from duty because she had violated a principle of restraint (distance requirement) which was designed to be a basic duty of prison staff.
The officer had an affair with a prisoner for several months. Here the true identity of extensive correspondence is hidden – among other things. With revealing sexual orientation and fantasies as well as a declared shared future – as well as providing nude pictures of her. The officer also illegally took a bracelet and shirt from the prisoner’s home. The relationship and contact letter were not disclosed to the prison administration.
By doing so, she committed a gross breach of her duty and was found to be inadmissible for public service. With intractable motives, she irresponsibly created a dangerous situation of the penal system, and in doing so severely deceived all her colleagues, depriving him of a foundation of trust from the point of view of both the employer and the general public. By allowing the inmate to take nude pictures of herself, she made herself vulnerable to blackmail in a big way.
And even after the transfer of the prisoner and the initiation of disciplinary measures, she tried to maintain her distancing attitude towards the prisoner through third parties. Finally, up to the time of the oral hearing, the defendant had shown himself to be completely irrational, especially with regard to the fact that he could be blackmailed. Confidence in a proper service in the future has been destroyed with lasting effect.
In her appeal against the administrative court ruling, the officer claimed that she had no sexual or other intimate relationship with the prisoner. In addition, in 2016 she was undergoing medical treatment for an acute stress reaction and adjustment disorder. The Supreme Administrative Court rejected the appeal after taking the evidence, as the letters found were read out, the prisoner was questioned as a witness and the officer was heard.
According to the result of taking the evidence, the court is satisfied that the prison officer entered into a sexual or emotional relationship with the prisoner for several months. This is undoubtedly evident from the letters that have been found. In contrast, the information provided by both the prisoner and the officer himself did not appear to be credible. On this basis, the court shares the lower court’s legal opinion that the civil servant has committed gross misconduct requesting her removal from service. There were insufficient indications of a decline in the officer’s ability to control.
(Judgment of June 15, 2020, reference number: 3A 11024/19.OVG).
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