Inmate Sues State's Community Corrections Department

PINE BLUFF, AR - An inmate in the Ark. Dept. of Community Correction has sued the agency, saying it did nothing to stop alleged sexual abuse from a county agricultural extension agent.

Patricia Zarychta filed the suit in federal court in Pine Bluff.  She accuses former Jefferson County Extension Agent Joseph Ivy of forcing her to engage in sexual activity while she was working on trusty status as janitor at the extension office last year.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Rhonda Sharp, a spokeswoman for the Dept. of Community Correction, said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Ivy has already pleaded no contest to a criminal charge of misdemeanor battery.  He was sentenced to one year probation and ordered to quit his job.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)