Corrections Officer Accused of Trading Cookies for Sex With Inmate

PHOTO: Snohomish County Jail
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A Washington state corrections officer has been charged with first degree sexual misconduct after he was accused of trading homemade chocolate chip cookies and other items for sexual favors from a 22-year-old female inmate.

Abner Canda, 58, has been a corrections officer at the Snohomish County jail in Everett, Wash., since 2007. According to a probable cause affidavit, Canda had a number of sexual encounters with an inmate, who has not been named, spanning from Nov. 19, 2012, until Jan. 12, 2013, when she came forward to accuse him.

"He came into my cell, and I showed him my breasts, willingly for some food," the woman, identified as C.D. in the affidavit, told authorities. "[He] kissed me and touched my breasts, and also put his hand down my pants and placed his finger inside of [my vagina]."

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C.D. also told authorities that Canda performed oral sex on her in January while she was in custody. She said that before these sexual encounters, Canda brought her homemade chocolate chip cookies, according to the affidavit.

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office obtained a surveillance video from the jail that the affidavit said "corroborated" C.D.'s story of sexual assault. The video, the affidavit said, showed the two walking up to C.D.'s cell together, and Canda entering and exiting her cell.

"Our investigation will be internal and is currently ongoing," Shari Ireton, director of communications for Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, told ABCNews.com.

Other female inmates have now come forward and said that they also had had sexual encounters with Canda, according to the affidavit. One female inmate told officers that she and Canda were "dating." Adam Cornell, an attorney with the Snohomish County prosecutor's office, told ABCNews.com that he could not comment on the other women mentioned in the affidavit.

The inmate who came forward said that shame led her to tell authorities of the trysts in her cell.

"I felt guilty for doing what I did and also because at one point I did certain things because he'd bring me stuff," C.D. said in a statement. "I'm ashamed for my actions. That's why I'm saying something."

Canda was charged this week with custodial sexual misconduct, a felony. He has been on paid administrative leave since January, and his corrections authority has been suspended. Disciplinary action will depend on the results of the internal investigation.

Canda has not been arrested, Cornell said, and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 15.

Mark D. Mestel, an attorney representing Canda, would not comment on the charges but said that his client would plead not guilty.

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