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Former 17-year prison employee charged with having sex with inmate

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

 

A former employee of Piedmont Correctional Facility has been charged with having sex with an inmate, according to police.

Salisbury Police charged Julia Renea Peeler, 58, of the 900 block of Mitchell Avenue, China Grove, with three counts of felony sex offense or intercourse by guardian. Peeler was charged on Tuesday.

Police said the incidents occurred April 2014 to June 2014, and the inmate reported it to prison officials on Jan. 9.

Prison officials said as a correctional food service manager Peeler was responsible for training and supervising inmates who work in the kitchen preparing meals.

“Peeler’s actions were prohibited by prison policy and by state law – consistent with the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA),” said Communications Officer Keith Acree.

The prison system has a zero-tolerance policy of any personal misconduct between employees and offenders.

Acree did not say how the inmate may have been in contact with Peeler at the prison, known to many as the high rise.

She began at the prison in August 1997 as a correctional officer. Throughout her career with the prison system, Peeler has also been a staff psychologist, registered nurse, correction food service officer and most recently, a correction food service manager.

According to her employee record, Peeler has worked in Rowan, Anson, Stanly, Lee and Wake counties. Her record is filled with a number of transfers, growth recognition awards, bonuses and promotions. She was terminated July 1, 2014.

Peeler declined to comment.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

 

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