Friday, April 8, 2011

Former prison nurse at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution gets probation for sex with Sheboygan County inmate

Written by: Eric Litke
Gannett Wisconsin Media
A former prison nurse was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation but no jail time for having sex with an inmate at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, in western Sheboygan County.

Laurie A. Blum, 45, of 82 Yacoub Lane, Fond du Lac, was sentenced by Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Timothy Van Akkeren after her attorney, friends and family described her as a gullible, trusting woman who was taken advantage of while suffering from depression and marital problems.

Blum was convicted earlier this month of felony second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff, a felony that carried a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

Van Akkeren noted the statute was intended to prevent correctional staffers from abusing their power by forcing inmates to engage in sexual contact.

"This does not seem to be the stereotypical (case)," Van Akkeren said. "I am quite willing to believe this was a two-way street, and, if anything, that Mr. Anderson was grooming the defendant."

The inmate, Marlon M. Anderson, 36, of Milwaukee, told investigators that the relationship was consensual and Blum did no favors and sought no favors in exchange for the sexual contact.

But Anderson has since filed a civil lawsuit against Blum and KMCI alleging she smuggled in food to give him in exchange for sex and demanded he write letters to her, said defense attorney Christopher Eippert.

Van Akkeren said the civil suit appears to have "no merit," based on the original investigation by the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department.

A criminal complaint said Blum had sex with the inmate on six separate occasions in a prison exam room in December 2009 and exchanged sexually explicit letters with him.

She was found out after she called Anderson's cellblock to say goodnight.

Anderson was serving five years in prison on a count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety with a dangerous weapon.

Eippert said he has a history of attempting to manipulate prison employees.

Van Akkeren ordered that Blum serve 40 hours community service as a condition of probation.

The crime of which she was convicted requires lifetime registration as a sex offender, but Van Akkeren placed a hold on that requirement pending an appeal.

Eippert said he plans to appeal the conviction as well as the mandatory registration, which he said would do irreparable harm to Blum given the publicity it generates and the increasing number of communities with sex offender residency restrictions.

The prosecution had recommended Blum serve six months in jail in addition to the probation.

Eric Litke writes for the Sheboygan Press

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