BEND, Ore. - (Update: Ex-jail worker arraigned; jail outlines changes to avoid such incidents)
A former contract kitchen worker at the Deschutes County Jail, accused of repeated sexual conduct with an inmate, was arraigned in a Deschutes County courtroom Wednesday morning.
April Hoisington-Kite, 43, was arraigned on three charges: first- and second-degree custodial sexual misconduct and supplying contraband. Circuit Judge Michael Adler directed the woman, who was cited last month, to be booked and fingerprinted at the jail before her next court appearance, scheduled for Dec. 28.
Sgt. William Bailey said the sheriff’s office received information Nov. 1 that Hoisington-Kite, an employee of Aramark Corp. assigned to work in the jail kitchen, was involved in an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.
Bailey said Wednesday she had been working in the jail kitchen for about four months.
Sheriff’s detectives immediately began investigating the allegation and interviewing those involved. They learned that Hoisington-Kite was involved in an inappropriate relationship with inmate Stephen Rechner, 39, of Bend, “that included sexual contact on more than one occasion,” Bailey said in a news release Tuesday.
Bailey said Wednesday the relationship between the woman and the inmate developed over a two-week period prior to her arrest.
He said the sheriff's office doesn't believe any other inmates were involved with Hoisington-Kite.
Hoisington-Kite also was charged with bringing chewing tobacco into the jail and providing it to Rechner, Bailey added.
Aramark was notified and Hoisington-Kite’s access to the jail was revoked, the sergeant said.
Aramark, which is contracted to provide food services for jail inmates and operate the kitchen area, “has also taken this matter very seriously and assisted with the investigation,” Bailey added.
The incident has prompted the jail to make some changes.
Bailey told NewsChannel 21 the sheriff's office has restricted areas in the kitchen where inmates are allowed, and limit areas where an inmate is not visibile on security cameras.
He said the agency also is increasing awareness training for contract employees who interact with inmates on situations they could find themselves in and how to avoid them.
"We take these matters very seriously," Bailey said. "Our staff are committed to the safety and security of this facility and the inmates that are inside of it. We're working with Aramark to be more involved in the process in vetting contract employees that are going to be coming to our facility, so we have an active role in saying who is going to be in our facility and interacting with our inmates."
Court records show Rechner has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2014 conviction on charges of third-degree rape, second-degree sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor, as well as past convictions of theft, ID theft and strangulation. He remains held without bail after his arrest last month on a parole violation charge.