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Former Wasatch County jailer admits abusing female inmates

Published: Friday, Aug. 30 2013 5:15 p.m. MDT

Former Wasatch County jailer Christopher Stein Epperson faces criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting two former female inmates. Two women have filed civil lawsuits against him.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A former Wasatch County jailer admitted in federal court Thursday that he physically abused two women while they were incarcerated.

Christopher Stein Epperson, 35, pleaded guilty to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law in connection with his job as a deputy sheriff assigned to the county’s corrections department. Color of law means the person is using lawful authority bestowed by a local, state or federal agency.

Epperson admitted that he touched the bare breasts of two female inmates and that he touched the genital area of one of them, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors charged Epperson with nine counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and four counts of unauthorized access to a computer in March 2012. He admitted two of the charges in a plea agreement.

U.S. District Judge David Sam will sentence Epperson on Nov. 4. Each count carries a maximum 10-year prison term and $250,000 fine.

The two women also have federal civil lawsuits pending against Epperson.

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