Probation Officer Charged

By JACOB PERRYMAN

jperryman@timesobserver.com

Warren-based state police filed charges Wednesday against county adult probation officer Jeffrey F. Collins, 37, of Sheffield, following allegations of sexual misconduct toward one of the individuals he was supervising.

Two charges of indecent assault, two charges of harassment and an additional charge of official oppression were filed with District Judge Glenn Carlson’s office following an investigation into incidents which occurred between Feb. 10 and March 2 of this year.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Todd Koebley, he was contacted by District Attorney Rob Greene, who asked him to meet him at Warren General Hospital. Greene notified Koebley that he had been made aware of accusations that a woman had been receiving lewd text messages from her probation officer.

Koebley interviewed the woman at the hospital on Tuesday.

During the interview, the woman explained that she had transferred under the supervision of Warren County Adult Probation on Jan. 8 and Collins was assigned as her probation officer.

The woman told Koebley that a few weeks after Collins’ initial visit to set up electronic monitoring in her home, he began sending her lewd text messages, first from his work phone and later from his personal phone.

According to the affidavit, the woman backed her claims with saved text messages.

The woman alleged that when she was at her appointment on Valentine’s Day, and during a subsequent visit, Collins groped her.

Collins is also accused of threatening the woman.

She alleged that Collins told her, “That if she did not do what she had to, then she would have to pay repercussions.”

The woman understood that to be a threat of revocation of her probation, which would result in her being put in jail.

“The employee involved, Jeffrey Collins, has been suspended without pay pending outcome of the charges,” Warren County Chief Adult Probation Officer Carl McKee said on Wednesday.

McKee said he was unable to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation and it being a personnel matter.

“We won’t tolerate misconduct within our county agencies,” Greene said of the matter. “It is still an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information can contact the state police.”

Collins is facing a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault without consent of other, a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault threat of forcible compulsion, a misdemeanor charge of official oppression – arrest, search, etc., a misdemeanor charge of harassment – communicating lewd, threatening, etc. language and a summary charge of harassment – subject other to physical contact.

Collins was not taken into custody. He will be summoned for a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday, April 2 before Carlson.