Police Officer on Wrong Side of Law

Reported by: Britney Glaser

Jennings City Police Sergeant Jesse Ewing has been in law enforcement for over a decade.  He's worked the streets and behind bars, but Wednesday he found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Authorities tell 7News that Ewing allegedly turned over privileged information about an ongoing investigation to a private citizen - but it doesn't stop there.  While the Louisiana State Police West District Detectives were investigating Ewing, they learned of allegations by a female Jennings City Jail inmate that Ewing had participated in inappropriate sexual conduct with her - allegations that Ewing did not deny.

Trooper Sal Messina with Louisiana State Police Troop D says, "When they interviewed Ewing, he admitted to giving the information to the private investigator. He also admitted to the inappropriate sexual conduct."

For the leak in information, Ewing has been charged with obstruction of justice.  With the sexual misconduct, under Louisiana law, even if the act was consensual, it is a crime for a law enforcement officer to have any kind of sexual contact with an inmate.

Jennings Police Chief Johnny Lassiter says they have placed Ewing on administrative leave with pay, pending further investigations by State Police.  "Everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty," says Chief Lassiter, "and this is the way that we're conducting the investigation. We'll either prove or disprove the allegation on the internal side. State Police is handling the criminal side of it. Everybody makes mistakes. The true light will come at the end of the investigation."

After posting a $10,000 bond at the Jeff Davis Parish Jail this afternoon, Ewing was released.

*Sgt. Jesse Ewing could face up to five years in prison on the obstruction of justice charge and up to ten years on the malfeasance involving sexual misconduct charge.