MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 57-year-old man who was a correctional officer at the Anoka County Jail is accused of touching an inmate inappropriately, according to charges filed Thursday in Anoka County Court.
Jeffrey Allan Backowski was charged with one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the incident, which allegedly happened over a three-day stretch in February.
According to a complaint, authorities at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office received a report in early February of an incident involving possible criminal sexual conduct at the Anoka County Jail. Two staff members at the jail had concerns that Backowski was engaging in inappropriate activities with female inmates.
One female inmate was interviewed by investigators and said she was in a women’s locker room at the jail when he stopped her. He allegedly touched her breasts over her clothes, then slid his hand down the back of her pants, touching her buttocks, according to the complaint.
Authorities then reviewed surveillance footage from Feb.7-9. Backowski was spotted on camera talking to the victim and directing her to an area not covered by surveillance. They disappeared for 30 to 40 seconds. The female inmate said everyone at the jail is aware of the “blind spot” and that it normally takes two or three seconds to cover that distance, according to the complaint.
Backowski admitted to being in the locker room with the woman but denied touching her in any way.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.