Jodi Linn Petty, 48, of Fairfield, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, to be completed during two years of probation, and about $900 in fines, court costs and reimbursement for a public defender after she pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor charges of battery, following a plea agreement.
Petty, who was working as an employee for Summit Foods Services at the Blaine County jail’s kitchen, was initially charged with four felony counts of sexual contact with an inmate in February after she was suspected of having inappropriate interactions with an inmate in the kitchen’s walk-in freezer. The February case was later dismissed after a judge found insufficient evidence to prosecute the case, due to the definition in state code of an employee of a jail or prison. In May, prosecutor Matt Fredback filed a new criminal case against Petty, charging her with the same crime but changing some of the language in the complaint.
Ultimately, the felony case was amended to four misdemeanor charges of battery, alleging “unlawful touching” of an inmate “at the county jail,” according to Blaine County prosecuting attorney Angela Nelson, who was the presiding prosecutor at the sentencing hearing on Sept. 11.
According to court testimony from the inmate with whom Petty had sex multiple times between November and December, the relationship developed into a sexual one after two instances when he and Petty were alone in the kitchen’s walk-in-freezer—where there were no surveillance cameras—and kissed. The inmate testified in April that he and Petty had sexual contact four times in the freezer within a week.