RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — Two former sheriff’s staff employees are in custody in Pope County after investigators say they had inappropriate sexual contact with a current inmate at the detention facility.

A release from a spokesperson for the Pope County Sheriff’s Office says Lauren Elliott and Billie Tucker were terminated and arrested following an investigation by Russellville police that started Friday night.

According to the release, Sheriff Shane Jones requested the police investigation after he was informed of possible inappropriate sexual contact between a member of his staff and a current inmate being housed at the facility.  

As the investigation unfolded, it was discovered that a second member of the staff also had inappropriate sexual contact with the same inmate.  

As a result of the investigation, Lauren Elliott and Billie Tucker were immediately terminated and placed under arrest.

Both are charged with fourth degree sexual assault.

Tucker is also accused of introducing prohibited articles into a correctional facility. 

Elliott and Tucker will appear before a judge in a bond hearing on Monday.

From the release by Ramona Woods, Spokesperson for the Pope County Sheriff’s Office:

“Sheriff Shane Jones is deeply saddened by the actions of his former employees.  Sheriff Jones understands that the public trust is the most valuable thing a law enforcement agency can possess.  He hopes that his quick action and response to these allegations demonstrates to the public that his employees are being held to the same standards as the public this agency serves.  Sheriff Jones stated “I am heartbroken by the betrayal of two trusted employees and these actions will not be tolerated.”
The investigation is ongoing by the Russellville Police Department and the 5th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney and no other statement will be made at this time.”