A former Howard County in-home detention officer is accused of having sexual contact with a female in the program and supplying her with alcohol.
A warrant was issued for Isaiah Christmas on Friday for a Level 5 felony charge of sexual misconduct following an investigation by the Howard County Sheriff Department, Howard Superior Court 2 records show.
As of Thursday afternoon, Christmas had not been apprehended, Detective Greg Hargrove said.
Christmas, 60, was fired from the Howard County Community Corrections department, which oversees the in-home detention program, last week, director of community corrections Ray Tetrault said. Christmas served as an in-home detention field officer.
A probable cause affidavit filed by Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann alleges a woman in the house arrest program because of pending drug and public intoxication offenses informed her field officer, Doug Hoover, that Christmas has been calling, texting and going to her house to see her in a non-professional manner.
It is the Kokomo Tribune's policy not to name sex crime victims.
The woman reported that on Jan. 10, Christmas came to her home with a bottle of moonshine and insisted she drink.
The next day, the woman said, Christmas drove her to his house and told her it would be OK for her to drink alcohol since he was the only field officer on duty and he wouldn’t tell anyone. A GPS tracking device confirmed the woman's story.
On Jan. 19, the woman informed corrections officials Christmas intended to pick her up and take her to a motel. GPS tracking information confirmed the woman's whereabouts as the Garden Inn on Lafountain Street. The victim informed Detective Jordan Buckley of the room number where she and Christmas could be found.
Officials found Christmas climbing out a window at the motel after several minutes of knocking on the door. Inside the room, they found a bottle of alcohol, a credit card receipt and the room rental agreement. The victim reported they had been drinking moonshine.
The woman admitted to consuming spice, an illegal synthetic drug. She also reported she thought the alcohol she had been consuming had been "spiked" with some drug as she was incoherent much of the hour she had been at the motel.
She reported some sexual contact with Christmas and was later taken to St. Joseph Hospital, where she received a sexual assault examination and a blood test.
The woman told detectives she came forward about Christmas in hopes of preventing this from happening to anyone else.
“I just don’t want to see him get away with this, I guess,” she said in the affidavit. “That’s all I’m asking you, just make sure he doesn’t get away with it. My daughter’s on in-home. What if he has access to her? If I die tomorrow and I left the world a better place for my kids and grandkids, I’m cool with that. I’m fine with that ‘cause I’ve done some dirt in my life.”
Tetrault said despite the actions of one field officer, the department is proud of the services it provides to the community.
“It’s very disappointing when somebody’s actions affect an entire department,” said Tetrault. “We’re really thankful for Sheriff Steve Rogers’ assistance. We are committed to employing and training the best people to serve Howard County.”
If convicted on the Level 5 felony, Christmas could serve up to six years in prison.
Anyone who has information about this incident or anything involving Christmas should call the Howard County Sheriff Department’s criminal investigations division at 765-456-2031.