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Courtesy of Tompkins County Sheriffs Office

December 13, 2016

Former Tompkins County Corrections Officer Charged with Rape

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A former corrections officer at the Tompkins County Jail was arrested Tuesday and charged with two felonies, including rape, after allegedly having sex with an inmate.

Michael B. Baker, 25, of Lansing, is charged with rape in the third degree and criminal sexual act in the third degree, both class E felonies.

Shayna Demott, an inmate at the jail since Aug. 19, told The Sun last week that another inmate on her block told her the former guard had sex with her and ejaculated. Inmates are incapable of consenting to sex with any jail employee, according to New York State Law.

Demott said on the day of the incident she saw Baker enter the female inmate’s cell, which was on her block, on Nov. 11 sometime between 7:00 and 7:45 p.m. and leave several minutes later with a request form, which are used by inmates to request envelopes, phone calls and other items. Demott said she gave a statement to investigators on Nov. 28.

Tompkins County said in a media release that the charges against Baker stem from incidents that allegedly occurred while Baker was employed as a corrections officer at the jail, from Aug. 1 to Nov. 29.

Demott said the inmate told her that she had sex with Baker because she was going to be transferred to prison several days later and wanted to have sex with him before she left.

Once the female inmate was transferred to prison, she sent a letter to Demott asking her to tell Baker that she missed “his cute face” and to keep everything quiet, according to Demott, who said she gave that letter to Senior Investigator Jody Coombs along with her statement on Nov. 28.

Baker was arraigned in the Town of Lansing Court by Judge Banfield before being booked into the jail Tuesday afternoon. He made bail within about 30 minutes — either $3,000 cash bail or $6,000 bond — and was released, according to a sergeant at the jail.

Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

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