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Indictment: Ex-jailer had relationship with inmate

Rider also charged with molestation, statutory rape

POSTED: July 1, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The former Dawson County Sheriff's detention officer who was arrested in February on child molestation and statutory rape charges is now accused of sexual assault against a female inmate in custody, according to a grand jury indictment filed on June 16.

  

Justin Tim Rider, 23, of Dawsonville, worked for the sheriff's office from January 2006 to November 2007.

  

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle said Rider resigned in 2007 three days after he was questioned about allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with female inmates and violations of established department rules.

  

An internal affairs summary concluded Rider engaged in sexual contact with "at least one, possibly several female inmates" and also "gave female inmates cigarettes for sexual favors."

  

Initially, Rider was not charged in relation to the alleged sexual contact with inmates, according to sheriff's Maj. John Cagle.

  

Those charges came in mid-June after a Dawson County Grand Jury determined the prosecution had sufficient evidence against Rider to move forward with both the child molestation and statutory rape case, as well as the alleged sexual assault at the jail.

  

"Obviously, the grand jury believed there was enough evidence to charge Mr. Rider with sexual assault," said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tony Wooten.

  

Rider was indicted on two counts of aggravated sexual battery, four counts of child molestation, two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of statutory rape in connection with reports that he was having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

  

Rider, who is due in court on July 9, began working at the detention center more than a year after graduating from Dawson County High School, where he was a member of the sheriff's Explorer program for youth interested in law enforcement.

  

Rider received primarily positive performance recommendations from his superiors at the detention center, although an evaluation in September 2006 warned the "officer needs to be able to distinguish what is acceptable when dealing with inmates. Officer needs not to be as personable with inmates."

  

Superior Court documents list Brett Turner of Dawsonville as Rider's attorney. A spokesperson at the law office on Friday said Turner has motioned to withdraw as counsel. The motion has not been ordered, she said.

  

According to jail records, Rider was released on bond in May.

  

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

 

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