Prison guard indicted on accusations of sexual misconduct


SIOUX FALLS (AP) – A South Dakota prison guard has been indicted on accusations of sexual misconduct.

Rien Fitzpatrick, 32, was indicted this week by a Minnehaha County grand jury on a charge of committing sexual acts prohibited between prison employees and prisoners. The felony is punishable by up to two years in prison.

The sex acts are alleged to have occurred between Feb. 2 and March 17, KELO-TV reported.

Fitzpatrick was released on a $1,000 bond.

A discovery and plea offer deadline was set for Oct. 1 and a motion, plea and trial deadline was set for Oct. 15, according to a court scheduling order.

The indictment comes as the Department of Corrections is being investigated following allegations of sexual misconduct and nepotism at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

Gov. Kristi Noem fired a number of prison officials and staff when an anonymous complaint accused former prison warden Darin Young of fostering a poor working environment.

It was not clear whether Fitzpatrick has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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