INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar announced Wednesday that he had fired a corrections officer after the officer admitted to fondling a female inmate.
“It’s a difficult time,” Sheriff Loar said, and an “uneasy day when one of your own” goes against the rules.
Deputy Charles Bruce Seager was arrested Tuesday and released from the county jail in the early morning hours of Wednesday after posting $1,000 bond on two counts of misdemeanor battery.
A female inmate assigned to laundry duty told a female corrections officer about an incident that occurred in March, when she was on trash duty. At that time, she and Deputy Seager were alone in the trash room discussing what she would do once she was released from jail.
During the talk, Deputy Seager hugged the inmate, then fondled her breast on the outside of her clothes and asked her if she liked it, the inmate told investigators.
After the inmate confided with the female officer, an investigation was conducted and a controlled meet was arranged between the woman and the deputy, which was recorded.
During that recorded conversation, Deputy Seager made comments that confirmed the inmate’s allegations.
Upon his arrest, Deputy Seager admitted to touching the woman in March and again during the last encounter.
The deputy told investigators that he knew it was wrong and “I need help,” the arrest affidavit states.
Sheriff Loar said he applauds the female deputies who intervened on behalf of the inmate.
“They did the right thing,” he said, which prompted the investigation.
The sheriff said there is no indication that there might be more victims, but if any step forward, the department would investigate.
At the time of his arrest, there were 504 inmates at the jail, of those, Deputy Seager oversaw between 20 and 30 as he rotated through the complex, relieving other deputies on break, according to the sheriff.
Deputy Seager had been with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office since June 2009 without incident. Before that, he spent 25 years as an officer in New York – also without incident, Sheriff Loar said.
“This is an unfortunate incident,” Sheriff Loar said, adding that authorities believe it to be an “isolated” incident.
The female inmate had been in the county jail since September 2010 on numerous charges. The sheriff declined to identify the woman.