"inappropriate relationship", $30000 bond, 10-year sentence, 3rd Judicial District, Arkansas DOC, Arkansas State Police, chaplain, clergy, Employee of the Year, five years in prison, five years suspended, guilty plea, Henry Boyce, inmates, Jackson County AR, Kenneth Dewitt, McPherson Women’s Prison, Newport AR, Patterson AR, Pinnacle Award, resigned, sexual assault, sexual relations, suspended, Woodruff County AR
The plea was announced by Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce.
Dewitt, the former prison chaplain at the Arkansas Department of Correction’s McPherson Women’s Unit in Newport, resigned from his position on Sept, 10, 2014 after confessing to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
In January 2013, after he had worked in the prison system for 15 years, Dewitt was give the Pinnacle Award as the DOC’s Employee of the Year.
A subsequent investigation by the Arkansas State Police uncovered three female inmates Dewitt had engaged in sexual relations with during his employment as chaplain at the unit.
Dewitt will be sentenced to a 10-year term in the Arkansas Department of Correction on each count to run concurrently with five years suspended on each count, so that he will spend a total of five years in prison. His imprisonment will begin on Aug. 8, 2016.
Dewitt had been free on $30,000 bond.
Boyce said, “After substantial preparation for trial in this case I am pleased that Mr. Dewitt has admitted his guilt and is willing to accept prison time as a result. Any time an employee of a correctional facility, not to mention a member of the clergy, takes advantage of his position of trust and authority to procure sexual favors, the judicial system should exact punishment for that transgression.”