Corrections deputy charged with sexual misconduct

Prosecution files two aggravating factors, which allow for longer sentence

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Courts Reporter

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A Clark County corrections deputy accused of sexual misconduct involving a female inmate was formally charged Thursday in Clark County Superior Court.

Christopher A. North, 29, of Vancouver entered not-guilty pleas to second-degree custodial sexual misconduct and indecent liberties with forcible compulsion. The prosecution also filed aggravating factors with the indecent liberties charge — vulnerable victim and violating a position of trust. The aggravators allow for a longer-than-normal sentence.

North previously posted bail and, on Thursday, appeared with Vancouver attorney Erin McAleer.

His trial was scheduled for Nov. 6.

North locked the inmate, who was transported from Cowlitz County and was on her way to Clackamas County, Ore., in a changing area at the Clark County Jail, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in support of the charges. He allegedly accosted her in the changing room and masturbated on her, the affidavit states.

The alleged incident took place about 4 a.m. July 11, but the woman didn’t report it until she arrived in Clackamas County, the court document states. Detectives with the sheriff’s office investigated, and North voluntarily turned himself in July 26 after consulting with an attorney in Tacoma.

North has been employed by the sheriff’s office since January 2015 and was placed on administrative leave July 13.