Juvenile Detention Guard Charged With Candy-for-Sex Exchange With Inmates

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A female guard at a juvenile detention facility has been charged with giving food, candy and other favors to two teenage inmates in exchange for sex, and four other guards are under investigation, officials said.

Lydia Korolak, 34, an 11-year veteran of the King County juvenile lockup, was charged Tuesday with four counts of custodial misconduct. She was on paid leave pending arraignment Aug. 1.

The four other guards also are on paid leave as the investigation continues.

"I wanted our juvenile facility cleaned up once and for all," King County Executive Ron Sims told reporters Tuesday at a news conference. Officials said guards who avoid criminal charges still could lose their jobs or be disciplined.

Each charge against Korolak carries a standard sentence of about five years. She does not have a listed phone number.

The allegations against Korolak involve Lavelle Johnson and another former inmate, identified in court documents only as J.H. Both were 17 at the time she is accused of having sex with them, one in 2001 and the other in 2002.

According to documents filed in Superior Court, she let Johnson fondle her and soon began having sex with him, usually in his solitary cell. He told investigators that in exchange she gave him candy and fast food and let him violate curfew.

Johnson, now 21, said in a telephone interview from the Washington Corrections Center, where he is now serving time as an adult on a drug charge, that Korolak visited his cell regularly in the wee hours.

"Graveyard shift was when all the sexual acts were going on, the intercourse and oral sex," he said. "She'd do her 15-minute checks, put the key in the lock, I'd hear it click, and then she'd be like, 'Come on, hurry up."'

J.H. told police he had sex with Korolak under duress nearly a dozen times after she threatened to write him up for infractions that might have affected his pending criminal case, according to the court filings. He, too, said she brought him candy as a reward and enticement.

J.H. also said Korolak asked him to be her boyfriend and said she would kick her mother out of the condominium they shared if he would move in with her.