MARION, Ill. (AP) — Two southern Illinois correctional officers have been charged with custodial sexual misconduct for an alleged assault on several women in their custody, Williamson County Sheriff Bennie Vick announced Thursday.
Vick said that in addition to the custodial sexual misconduct charges, officers Russel Herzog and Brandon Elam have been charged with official misconduct. Elam is alleged to have offered special treatment to three women in exchange for them “fondling their sex organs” in front of him. Herzog allegedly made the same offer to two women.
Union County State’s Attorney Dan Klingemann, who will prosecute the two men, told the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale that the charges against both men were filed based on events that allegedly occurred between October 2017 and December 2018. The investigation into the men’s actions was conducted by Illinois State Police.
Illinois law says custodial sexual misconduct occurs when “an employee of a penal system and engages in sexual conduct or sexual penetration with a person who is in the custody of that penal system.” Each charge has a sentencing range of two to five years in prison.
It wasn’t immediately known if Herzog or Elam have legal representation.