CLEARFIELD – A former state prison employee charged with having an intimate relationship with a state prison inmate has pleaded guilty in Clearfield County Court.
Rebecca J. Williams, 55, 922 McAteer St., Houtzdale pleaded guilty to two counts each of institutional sexual assault and official oppression-arrest, search etc. She was sentenced to 60 days to one year in jail and two years consecutive probation. She was fined $600 plus costs and must complete counseling.
Prior to sentencing, attorney Gary Knaresboro, who represented Williams, noted that she had no prior record. He explained she was a teacher at the state correctional institute at Houtzdale who fell in love with an inmate. Once this was reported, she cooperated with police, even giving them her love letters.
Knaresboro pointed out that Williams has lost her job, her teaching license, her house, is going through a divorce and may lose her pension. He stated her actions put no one in danger and there was no corruption involved.
Williams addressed the court, saying she “deeply” regretted her actions and stating she had never acted in that manner before and she didn’t “see it happening again.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Williams was an adult basic education teacher at the prison when she began a relationship with an inmate who had given her a homemade Halloween card.
The inmate who was a tutor in her classroom, told police that she began touching and kissing him in a sexual manner. She also provided him with partially nude photos of herself and gave him a ring, which represented a commitment of her love and affection. The inmate, who was scheduled to be released Feb. 7, said she made a hotel room reservation for them, so they could meet for a sexual liaison once he was free.
When she was interviewed by police, she said she developed the relationship because she felt a “natural” attraction to him. She confided in him, giving him personal information about her unhappy marriage. After she regularly flirted with him their messages became more intimate. She admitted she gave him a ring and that she had made the hotel reservations for them.