1 of 4 deputies charged for sex with former inmate

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WOOD) — One of four Berrien County deputies accused of having inappropriate relationships with former female inmates is facing charges.

Keegan Oscar Trail, 23, pleaded no contest Wednesday to engaging services for purpose of prostitution.  The prosecutor dropped a second identical charge as part of a plea agreement.

OFF THE FORCE

Trail is accused of contacting two former inmates for sex. He met the first woman at the Berrien County Jail while working as a deputy there, the prosecutor’s office said.  After she was released, he allegedly contacted her through Facebook and exchanged sex for money in June 2014.

The prosecutor’s office said Trail knew the second woman before she was jailed and contacted her through backpage.com in 2015, after she was free.  Trail allegedly arranged to meet the woman for sex, but that encounter never happened, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Trail no longer works for the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office. The Eau Clair native faces up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500.

ENCOUNTERS OUTSIDE JAIL

The prosecutor’s office said it couldn’t file charges against a second former deputy accused of paying another former inmate for sexual favors because the alleged victim failed to come forward for an interview.

The same deputy was accused of depositing money into another female inmate’s prison account and having sexually explicit discussions with her over a state prison phone.  The prosecutor’s office said the deputy will not be charged because no coercion took place, based on that woman’s interview.

A third former deputy accused of contacting numerous women he met while they were behind bars will not face charges. The prosecutor’s office said only one of the women claimed there was a sex-for-money transaction and there wasn’t enough credible information from her interview to file criminal charges against the deputy.

A fourth deputy who allegedly met a former inmate outside the jail is not facing charges and remains with the force.

VICTIMS: DEPUTIES CAPITALIZED ON VULNERABILITY

The prosecutor’s office said none of the encounters happened within the Berrien County Jail.

Detectives with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office interviewed at least 15 former female inmates.  Most of the alleged victims were in jail on drug charges.

“Their statements to investigators described a feeling of vulnerability to the alleged advances from the deputies due to their continued addiction,” the prosecutor’s office said in Wednesday’s news release.

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