EMANUEL COUNTY, Ga. - A former high-ranking prison official is facing several charges of sexual misconduct involving vulnerable female inmates.
Only Channel 2 Action News was there Wednesday when police went to the man's home and put him in handcuffs.
“I didn't do this. I haven't done anything,” said former prison Capt. Daniel Johnson as he was being taken into custody. “I know I’m innocent. I have nothing to be afraid of or guilty of.”
Georgia Corrections Commissioner Homer Bryson told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that their investigation has confirmed 10 victims, and most of them are from the metro Atlanta area.
The corrections commissioner says before he was fired, Johnson was the highest ranking uniformed corrections officer at the Emanuel women's facility.
He is accused of sexually assaulting nine female inmates.
“It’s a professional embarrassment to all of us if these allegations prove true,” said Emanuel County Sheriff J. Tyson Stephens.
Winne confirmed with Emanuel County District Attorney Hayward Altman that anytime a corrections officer has sexual contact with an inmate, it is a felony.
Bryson said warrants also charge a second person, former Sgt. Shauntsey Kitchens, of violation of oath and sexual assault against a person in custody.
That case involves two female prisoners, one of them also allegedly victimized by Johnson.
Winne asked Kitchens what his response was to the allegations but received no response.
“Were you alone in your office with these women?” Winne asked Johnson.
“I mean, I’m not going to say that I wasn't. I’ve been in my office, but my office, it’s like a 4 (feet) by 4 (feet), 4 (feet) by 6 (feet) window in the door. It's in a very crowded area,” Johnson said.
“We're just not going to tolerate inappropriate behavior,” Bryson said.
Walter Madison, lawyer for two alleged victims, emailed Winne, saying Wednesday's arrest vindicates his two clients.
“This is a good step towards eliminating this long ignored problem. These ladies deserve full justice,” Madison said.