Sheriff: Jail is Safe for Inmates Despite Rape Report

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The Mesa County Sheriff says his jail is safe for inmates, despite a reported rape earlier this week.

21–year–old Tyler Christensen is behind bars while he awaits sentencing. Investigators say in November, he groped an elderly woman in an elevator, put his hand over her mouth, but then let her go.

Christensen told investigators last month that 27–year–old Cody Gray forced him to have sex with him in his cell. The case is still under investigation.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says there have been five reported sexual assaults by inmates in the last eight years but some of them were unfounded.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey says the jail has taken several steps to make sure inmates are not taking part in any criminal activity.

"The jail is built physically so that you can see into those areas that are usually vulnerable like the shower areas and common areas where inmates have contact with each other," said Hilkey.

Hilkey says the only place they have trouble keeping an eye on is individual cells, but detention officers do checks on them every 30 minutes.

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