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Newton jailer charged with sexually assaulting inmate
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David Rex Bell

A Newton County Detention Officer has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a female inmate.

The female inmate made an outcry around 4:30 p.m. Monday and David Rex Bell, 27, was arrested around 8:30 p.m. He has been charged with sexual assault, violation of oath of office and aggravated sodomy.

According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office Captain Keith Crum, as soon as the accusation against Bell was made, the Office of Professional Standards (which operates within the NCSO) was notified and an investigation began. Two female inmates – one the victim, the other a witness – were interviewed, as was Bell, and enough evidence was present to make the charges against him.

Inmates cannot consent to sexual acts with detention officers per statue, which essentially says they cannot give consent to a person who has authority over them, no matter their age. The victim reportedly said the incident happened only once.

Bell, who has been a detention officer with the NCSO since 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave until the internal investigation has been completed, as policy dictates. He is currently incarcerated, though he is being housed in an undisclosed jail for safety purposes until his first appearance before a judge.

“Behavior such as this will not be tolerated by the NCSO and we will immediately start an investigation and take quick action if the evidence warrants,” said Crum.