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Ex-corrections officer charged with 2019 rape of inmate

Not connected to other cases, investigators say
Cuyahoga County Jail
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 19:53:13-04

CLEVELAND — For the second time in as many weeks there are allegations that a Cuyahoga County Jail inmate was sexually assaulted by a corrections officer inside the troubled jail.

This week, a Grand Jury indicted 27-year-old Jalen Howard on two counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of sexual battery, gross sexual imposition and public indecency.

Investigators said Howard, who worked as a Cuyahoga County corrections officer from September 2017 until August 2019, sexually assaulted an inmate, identified only as "John Doe" in court documents, inside the jail in March 2019.

A sheriff's department spokesperson said Howard resigned the same month investigators began looking into the allegations against him.

While it's not clear why charges weren't filed earlier, the spokesperson said investigators spent the last several months conducting interviews before presenting the case to a grand jury this week.

Investigators do not believe this case is connected to allegations against Corrections Officer Andre Bacsa, who is charged with sexually assaulting three inmates inside the jail earlier this year.

Bacsa has been placed on unpaid leave and remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.

Howard is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 3.

RELATED: Cuyahoga County corrections officer charged with sexual assault for alleged jail incident

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