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Hardeman County jailer accused of sexually assaulting inmate

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

BOLIVAR, Tenn. -- A Hardeman County jailer is off the job after an inmate accused him of sexual assault.

WBBJ sat down with Eneta McClellan, the inmate's mother, who said her son called her after the incident.

"[The jailer] pushed him in one of the cells and started fondling all over him," Eneta said.

"After the allegations have been made, what's going to be put in place to make sure this doesn't happen again?" Emma McClellan, the inmate's grandmother, asked.

Hardeman County Sheriff John Doolen says he is aware of the accusation. Although he would not release the name of the jailer, he said an investigation is underway. He confirmed the employee has been put on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

"That's just a slap on the wrist," Eneta said about the suspension.

Eneta says her son was told the employee had been fired because of the assault so she's shocked to hear he's only been suspended.

"[Inmates are] still human and still have rights," Eneta said.

The McClellan's said they're hoping the allegation will be thoroughly investigated, and if proven true, the jailer will not only be fired but also charged with sexual assault.

According to Sheriff Doolen, once the investigation is complete if the allegations are proven true, the case will be sent to the District Attorney's office. From there, the DA will decide if charges will be filed.

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