Former prison chaplain pleads guilty to sexual assault

Former prison chaplain pleads guilty to sexual assault

ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) - A former prison chaplain who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting female inmates will soon find himself behind bars.

Kenneth Dewitt, 67, of Patterson in Woodruff County pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of third-degree sexual assault, according to Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce.

An investigation by the Arkansas State Police revealed that Dewitt engaged in sexual relations with three female inmates while he was a chaplain at the Arkansas Department of Correction's McPherson Women's Unit in Newport.

Boyce said Dewitt would be sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court on August 3, to a 10-year term on each count to run concurrently with five years suspended on each count.

"I am pleased that Mr. Dewitt has admitted his guilt and is willing to accept prison time as a result," Boyce said in a statement. "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."

Dewitt resigned his position at the prison on September 10, 2014, after confessing to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.

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