HOUTZDALE – A corrections officer has been accused of having a sexual relationship with an inmate.
Crystal R. Bloom, 54, of Patton has been charged by Darren Fisher, a criminal investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, with institutional sexual assault, a felony of the third-degree.
The investigation began in early March when SCI Houtzdale Superintendent Barry Smith sent a complaint to the DOC’s Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Smith said Bloom had been observed spending an “excessive” amount of time alone with an inmate. Because of this complaint, the BII provided a covert camera, which was installed in the B-A Housing Unit’s storage closet.
Bloom and the inmate had previously been observed here on numerous occasions, Fisher said. The camera was installed on March 19 by the prison’s maintenance staff.
On March 22 and 24, Bloom and the inmate were observed kissing each other inside the closet. On March 23, they were allegedly observed kissing and then having sexual relations.
During an interview on March 27, Fisher played video footage for the inmate from March 23. After seeing footage of he and Bloom kissing in the storage closet, the inmate said he’d “seen enough.”
The inmate said he’d developed feelings for Bloom, and he was under the impression that upon his release from SCI Houtzdale, they would be together in a romantic relationship.
He reportedly admitted to having sexual relations with Bloom on March 23, and claimed this was the first and only time.
During an interview March 27, Bloom reportedly admitted she’d been involved in an inappropriate relationship with the inmate. She also admitted they had sexual relations, and this happened one time only on March 23.
She said over time, she’d become “friendly” with this inmate but didn’t intend to pursue any type of relationship with him upon his release from prison.
Bloom is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail.