A former employee of the Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Casper was arraigned Friday morning in District Court on charges alleging he sexually assaulted a female inmate.

John R. Gallagher, who worked as a shift supervisor at the detention center, pleaded not guilty to one count each of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and third-degree sexual assault. He could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted on both counts.

According to the affidavit filed in the case, an investigator with the Natrona County Sheriff's Office began investigating in late November after a juvenile female inmate alleged that Gallagher had made inappropriate advances toward her and grabbed her breast while she was housed at the facility.

The alleged victim told the investigator that Gallagher blew kisses to her, winked at her and told her she was beautiful. She described Gallagher as "very flirtatious," and this led to the victim becoming attracted to him.

In the first or second week of November, Gallagher allegedly approached the victim while she was inside her cell. He reportedly asked her to "flash" her breasts for him to see, which the victim did.

Gallagher then allegedly pulled her closer to the cell door opening and reached into the cell, just out of the view of security cameras, and fondled her right breast.

A second alleged incident was said to have occurred on Nov. 24 in the facility's nursing station. Gallagher had escorted the victim to the nursing station and provided her with medication, according to the affidavit.

Gallagher put the medication cart back into a secure room, which was just off the waiting area where the victim sat. The secure room reportedly could not be seen by security cameras.

Gallagher allegedly stood inside the room and unzipped his pants, then zipped them back up and walked back out of the nursing area. The victim said nothing happened and Gallagher did not expose himself.

A second inmate reportedly told the investigator that she had also been subjected to inappropriate conduct by Gallagher. She claimed he would often wink at her in a suggestive manner and smile; on one occasion, Gallagher also told her she was beautiful.

In his first interview with the investigator, Gallagher reportedly denied ever having any contact with the alleged victim, adding that he had never touched her or asked to see her breasts. He also denied unzipping his pants in the nursing station.

Gallagher claimed that a letter had surfaced shortly after the alleged victim arrived at the facility. The letter, reportedly penned by the alleged victim, explained that she did not know what was going on between herself and Gallagher, "but she did not want it to stop," court papers say.

Gallagher told the investigator that he was a friendly person and has a facial mannerism that causes him to wink, which Gallagher said may have been misconstrued. He denied ever blowing kisses toward inmates

In a second interview, Gallagher admitted to touching the victim's breast after the victim exposed herself. He said it only happened once, and he kept his distance after that.

Gallagher reportedly said that the letter had boosted his ego, saying it made him feel good to know that a "young attractive female liked him that way." He denied unzipping his pants in the nursing area.

Program Director Cory Miller, who runs the facility, told K2 Radio News on Friday that Gallagher is no longer employed by Cornerstone Programs, which is the group that runs the facility.

Gallagher remains free on $5,000 surety bond. His case is on the trial stack for July 30.

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