NEW MADRID -- A New Madrid County Sheriff's Department jailer was arrested on charges of forcible sodomy Tuesday following an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
On Monday, the Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control was asked to conduct an investigation at the request of New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens, according to Sgt. Larry Plunkett Jr., public information officer for the Patrol's Troop E.
As a result of that investigation, Class A felony warrants were issued for the arrest of Johnny W. Bagwell, 32, of Marston for two counts of forcible sodomy with a female inmate.
Bagwell had served as a jailer with the New Madrid Sheriff's Department for approximately two months prior to the incident. The sheriff advised the Patrol that Bagwell resigned from the department on Monday.
The investigation began after Stevens received information alleging sexual assaults had occurred at the county jail facility on or about Oct. 8. After a detailed investigation of the incident, DDCC investigators forwarded the information to the New Madrid County prosecuting attorney's office for formal charges on Tuesday, Plunkett said.
Following his arrest, Bagwell was transported to the Pemiscot County Jail where he is being held without bail.
The charges for which Bagwell has been arrested are mere accusation and are not evidence of guilt, Plunkett pointed out. Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.