EX-JAILER accused of sexual ASSAULT

A former corrections officer at the Marathon County Jail is facing criminal charges amid allegations she sexually assaulted a male inmate in June 2015.

Jennifer Kowalski, 38, is accused of second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff and misconduct in office, both felonies that carry a combined 43-year prison term upon conviction. Kowalski was employed with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department from October 2006 until her position was terminated in October 2015, shortly after the investigation began, officials say.

A witness reported overhearing Kowalski talking about having oral sex with an inmate she was watching at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, court records show. Kowalski is also accused of giving the inmate sexually suggestive notes while he was incarcerated, and of kissing and hugging the man before he left the jail for the hospital.

The inmate later told investigators that he and Kowalski did have a relationship, but that it began after Kowalski’s employment was terminated. Kowalski denies any wrongdoing and is free on a $2,500 cash bond. No future court dates have been set.

The Everest Metro Police Department conducted the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest.