Alleged victim of Angelina Co. jailer: 'He treated us like piece - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Alleged victim of Angelina Co. jailer: 'He treated us like pieces of meat'

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Stevon Crowder (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail) Stevon Crowder (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Julia Goodwin Julia Goodwin
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Editor's note: This story contains graphic sexual language.

Arrest affidavits for the former Angelina County jailer who was arrested for abusing his authority reveal that he allegedly made inappropriate comments to eight female trustees who worked for him in the jail kitchen. In addition, Stevon Eugene Crowder reportedly touched some of the inmates in a sexually aggressive manner.

One of the inmates that made the allegations of sexual harassment against Crowder described him as a "pervert," according to one of the arrest affidavits.

For his own safety, Crowder, 53, of Lufkin, is being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail on five state-jail felony charges of violating the civil rights of a person in custody and eight Class A misdemeanor charges of official oppression. Collectively, his bail has been set at $24,500.

Following an investigation by the Angelina County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers, Crowder acted on his attorney's advice, and turned himself into authorities late Monday night. The investigation involved interviews with inmates in Angelina County and at Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisons in Henderson, Coryell, and Burnett counties.

Crowder's alleged victims and one of their family members filed a complaint with the ACSO.

"We took that complaint and had our investigators check on it," said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches. "It was a valid complaint, and in fact, it led to several other complaints."

Sanches said he takes any accusation against an ACSO employee seriously and hopes his proactive approach will help the Angelina Sheriff's Office keep the public's trust.

"They want to see a sheriff that's going to be honest and straight forward and is not going to hide anything," Sanches said. "This is not anything to hide."

Julia Goodwin, a former Angelina County Jail inmate, said Crowder treated her and other female prisoners like "pieces of meat."

"I don't think we deserve that even though we were incarcerated," Goodwin said.

According to one of the arrest affidavits, Crowder was in charge of the jail kitchen and the jail inmates who were assigned to work there. He would wake them at their cell dorm and then return them to their cells when their shifts were over. The affidavits stated that the sexual harassment occurred between the hours of 1 and 5:30 or 6 p.m., the only part of Crowder's typical 12-hour shift when he was alone with the kitchen trustees.

One of the inmates that reported Crowder's inappropriate behavior said that his actions between March 28 and May 19 made her feel very uncomfortable. The affidavit stated Crowder would touch her on the waist and shoulders.

The female inmate told investigators that Crowder would always position himself, so that the front of her body would face him, the affidavit stated. In addition, he would look down the woman's jail jump suit in an effort to see her breasts. She also said he would make sexual comments to her and the other female prisoners under his supervision.

According to the affidavit, Crowder continued with his inappropriate behavior after she told him to keep his hands to himself.

Later in the affidavit, the same female inmate said that Crowder would tell her and other women to bend at the waist to retrieve items from the floor or lower shelves within the cooler and other areas of the kitchen, so that it "exposed the shape of their buttocks under their jail jumpsuits." She said that he would direct her into the cooler, where there are no surveillance cameras.

The inmate said when she went to get items from the upper shelves or the floor, "I could glance back and see him looking at my butt." In another affidavit, the same inmate told investigators that on three separate occasions, Crowder followed her into the cooler and touched her on the clothing over her genitalia and had a "weird look" on his face when he did so.

On another occasion, Crowder allegedly came up behind the female in a narrow passageway and rubbed her buttocks with the front of his lower body, the affidavit stated. The woman also told investigators that Crowder grabbed her breast in a sexual manner and said, ‘You really got them, girl."

During another incident, Crowder asked the female inmate if she dated "black men." The jailer would also make certain facial expressions that made her and the other female inmates assigned to the kitchen uncomfortable and talked to them about sexual things.

"[The inmate] stated Correctional Officer Stevon Crowder had been talking to her about oral sex and his wife having an affair with a 15-year-old school boy, and the fact he had vasectomy and could have sex with anyone and not fear getting anyone pregnant," the affidavit stated. "These conversations were offensive and oppressive."

When Crowder went to the female inmates' dorm to get them up for their shifts, he would allegedly stand at the clear glass window and watch them get dressed, the affidavit stated. The female inmate in the first affidavit said no other jailers, including the female correctional officers, would do that.

According to the affidavit, Crowder's behavior started getting more and more aggressive, so the female inmates started looking out for each other. When Crowder would try to get one of them alone and out of view of the other inmates, they would signal each other, so that another prisoner would try to go with the first one.

"Mr. Crowder was a big man, so we were not strong enough to take him on by ourselves, so if we banded together, we could have more defense," Goodwin said.

The statements from the other female inmates matched up with the first prisoner's testimony about Crowder's behavior.

Another female inmate (Goodwin) told authorities that Crowder once told her, "You sure got some junk in that trunk." The affidavit where she is quoted stated that he would also put his hands on her shoulders and call her "sister girl."

I'm a busty woman, and he called me 'junk in the trunk,' and that really hurt me," Goodwin said.

A third inmate said she also caught Crowder staring at her buttocks several times while they were in the kitchen cooler together, the affidavit stated. She also said that he would instruct her and the other female trustees to bend over and then say things like, "Don't bend over like that. It does something to me."

"[The third female inmate] stated that Correctional Officer Stevon E. Crowder placed his hands on her so many times she lost count," the affidavit stated.

The third inmate also said that there were two or three times when Crowder would reach across her work station and rub the back of his hand all the way up her arm and on her breast, the affidavit stated. In another incident, Crowder allegedly stood in a door with his back to the doorjamb and ordered the female inmate to pass through by him, causing her clothed breast to rub against his clothed chest.

Yet another female inmate said that Crowder told her head been a pimp "back in the day" and how she would have been a good asset to him. She said on one occasion, the jailer had been talking to her about oral sex when he called her into the kitchen office, where he was leaning back in the chair with his legs spread, the affidavit stated.

"I knew what he was doing and that he wanted me to give him oral sex," the inmate said in the affidavit. "I just left the room, and he was looking at me creepy."

In another of the affidavits, the female inmate said she had been a victim of sexual assault earlier in her life. She described Crowder's actions as "grooming."

"I hate to see people make bad choices, but when you make bad choices, bad consequences occur because of it," Sanches said.

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