Hearings Continued for SCI-Houtzdale Staffer, Inmate

CLEARFIELD – Preliminary hearings were continued Wednesday for a State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale staff member and for the inmate with whom she’s accused of engaging in sexual relations with and also providing with a cellular phone and cash.

Rachelle Thompson, 47, of Philipsburg faces charges of institutional sexual assault; weapons or implements for escape; telecommunication devices to inmates prohibited; money to inmates prohibited; and harassment.

Jason Campbell, 30, of SCI-Houtzdale has been charged with terroristic threats; weapons or implements for escape; possession of telecommunication devices by inmates prohibited; and harassment.

At Wednesday’s proceeding, Magisterial District Judge Michael Rudella granted the six-week continuance so that immunity issues could be resolved by the Court of Common Pleas. Rudella rescheduled the preliminary hearings for Thompson and Campbell for Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

Maurice Carter, 25, also of SCI-Houtzdale, waived his right to preliminary hearing yesterday. He’s facing charges of weapons or implements for escape and possession of telecommunication devices by inmates prohibited.

According to a prior GantDaily report, the Clearfield-based state police initiated its investigation Sept. 11. SCI-Houtzdale officials notified the state police that while searching a cell, corrections officers allegedly discovered two cellular phones.

Campbell and Carter resided in the said cell. Both eventually admitted to owning the cellular phones. Though interviewing it became alleged that Thompson had provided Campbell and Carter with the cellular phones, state police said.

Campbell told state police that Thompson not only provided the cellular phones, but also, on separate occasions, gave him money. He told state police that he and Thompson had engaged in a sexual relationship.

According to the previous GantDaily report, Thompson also allegedly provided Campbell with information about two additional staff members at SCI-Houtzdale. Campbell allegedly used the information to contact and threaten the said staff members.

During an interview with state police, Thompson allegedly admitted to engaging in a sexual relationship with Campbell. She also told state police she’d provided the cellular phones.

Both Campbell’s and Carter’s bail are set at $10,000 monetary, and they’re currently incarcerated. Thompson’s bail has not yet been set, according to Rudella.

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