Northampton Co. correctional officer relieved of duties for improper sexual conduct with inmate

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NORTHAMPTON CO., Va. – A female correctional officer with the Eastern Shore Regional Jail was relieved of her duties for having improper sexual conduct with a male inmate, the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Maria D. Owens was let go on November 1 and charged with carnal knowledge of an inmate and illegal conveyance of a cellular telephone to an incarcerated prisoner. The investigation revealed that Owens had improper sexual conduct with the inmate on separate occasions.

The inmate, 25-year-old Jodecii Purnell, was charged with possessing a cellular telephone while incarcerated without authorization.

Owens had been employed with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office since 2004 before being assigned to work at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail as a correctional officer.