Old Probation Officer Accused of Groping His Probationers

     COLUMBIA, Tenn. (CN) – A 77-year-old probation officer allegedly groped and forcibly kissed a female probationer who says she caught his lascivious behavior on video.

     The probationer, 47, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was placed on probation for 11 months and 29 days under the supervision of probation officer Willie Baker, according to a federal lawsuit.
     She claims a judge in Maury County had called Cindy Miles, the program director of the area’s misdemeanor probation service, and told her about an anonymous tip that Baker had molested female probationers.
     Miles allegedly told the judge that Baker was “old and due to retire soon,” and never addressed the issue.
     As a result, Baker was allowed to meet with the plaintiff and other female probationers, often early in the morning and alone, the lawsuit claims. He allegedly first molested the plaintiff by putting his arm around her shoulder and squeezing her left breast.
     The plaintiff claims she put up with the behavior for months, for fear of punishment. When she finally told police, they wired her with recording devices that allegedly caught the probation officer molesting her.
     Baker was later indicted on several counts of sexual battery, according to the civil suit, and entered conditional pleas to charges involving the plaintiff and other female probationers.
     The plaintiff alleges gross negligence and civil rights violations against Baker; the South Central Resource Agency, which hired him; and Miles, the agency’s program director.
     She demands $200,000 in punitive damages and is represented by Kent Stanley of Franklin, Tenn.

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