West Baton Rouge deputies arrested; audit alleges bribery, sex with inmates

Local News

Four sheriff’s deputies face legal trouble after an internal audit unveiled corruption, bribery and sexual activity within the West Baton Rouge Parish jail’s work release program.

Officials with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday three deputies — Taija Pearly, 23; Dimple Jones, 56; and James McClurg, 28 — were arrested this week on malfeasance charges. 

According to the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Michael Lafayette, 60, turned himself in on Wednesday morning.

Jones and Pearly face additional charges of prohibited sexual contact with a prisoner.

The investigation followed multiple reports of inmates escaping the jail in recent weeks. Sheriff’s office spokesman Dale Simoneaux said Pearly and Lafayette drove an inmate from the facility to a Port Allen motel, where Pearly and the inmate allegedly had sexual contact. McClure accepted bribes to cover up the inmate’s absence during a nightly headcount, according to the sheriff’s office.

“These were bad judgment calls,” Simoneaux said at a news conference Tuesday. “People had some personal problems in their life and let inmates take advantage of them.”

Jones is charged in a separate incident tied to a murder-for-hire plot in October. The incident included a sexual encounter with an inmate. Simoneaux did not disclose specifics, only saying the investigation continues.

All four deputies have been fired from the sheriff’s office.

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