Former Mississippi police officer pleads guilty in inmate sex case

Richard Pack
Richard Pack
Richard Pack

COLUMBIA, Miss. (AP) — A former Columbia police officer has pleaded guilty to sexual activity with an inmate in Marion County.

WDAM-TV reports Richard Pack pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of sexual activity between certain individuals and offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities or on correctional supervision.

Pack was sentenced to five years, with four-and-a-half suspended. He also must register as a sex offender. District Attorney Hal Kitrell said it’s the same sentence that Pack received in Madison County for the same charge. The two sentences will run concurrently.

Pack and three other law enforcement officers, Justin Codey Herrington, Vasan Josea Oatis and Shawn Michael Williams, were all previously charged with having sexual activity with an inmate, with her consent — a felony.

According to indictments, the officers sexually interacted with the inmate between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30, 2013, and again between May 5 and June 30, 2014.

Herrington resigned from the department in July 2014, while Oatis and Pack resigned on Aug. 27, 2014. Williams was terminated on Aug. 5, 2014.

The investigation, which lasted nearly one year, was conducted by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The other officers have court dates set for January.