Jonathan O’Brien | Reporter

(Milledgeville, Ga) — Two Baldwin County jail employees were arrested Friday following a GBI investigation which concluded the pair had “sexual contact” with a female inmate.

Sheriff Bill Massee and Maj. Robert Adams March 26, 2021. Courtesy: The Baldwin Bulletin

Authorities say 20-year-old Christopher Dumas Jr. and 37-year-old Mario Ward, both of Milledgeville, were taken into custody and charged with one count of sexual assault. The Union-Recorder reports the pair are out on a $25,000 bond.

“The incidents allegedly occurred between December 1st and December 7th, 2020,” GBI special agent-in-charge Mary Chandler told WGUR Radio. “Our preliminary investigation revealed that the two individuals that we arrested today did have sexual contact with the inmate while she was in the custody of the Baldwin County jail,” Chandler stated.

Although both men are charged with the same crime against the same inmate, Chandler said, “it’s two separate incidences.”

Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee “immediately” requested the GBI investigation on March 17th after receiving a letter from an attorney on behalf of a client who alleged: “improper sexual conduct in our jail,” Massee said.

Investigators believe the relationships were consensual, but Georgia Law (O.C.G.A 16-6-5.1) prohibits sexual contact “by persons with supervisory or disciplinary authority.”

Massee has been the county’s top law enforcement officer for 33 years and described the allegations as “isolated.” “I can’t even remember the last time we’ve had an incident between our inmates and our employees,” he said.

Sheriff Massee says one of the defendants, Christopher Dumas Jr., was fired a week before the allegation of sexual assault came to light. An internal investigation revealed Dumas was bringing contraband into the jail.

Despite many surveillance cameras and other guards, Massee said, “there are blindspots.” He declined to say where inside of the facility that the incident took place.