by SEAN KIMMONS
A 25-year-old former Hays County jail guard is accused of having a relationship with a male inmate that included sexual acts, kissing, love letters and phone conversations, court records show.
Hilary Cook, who resigned shortly after the allegations surfaced, was jailed Friday on charges stemming from the improper relationship.
A Hays County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer on duty with Cook on Nov. 1 came forward after he noticed Cook slip into a cleaning closet with the inmate for 10 to 15 minutes. The accusation sparked an internal investigation that revealed Cook had kissed the inmate in the closet as well as performed oral sex on him later that night, an arrest affidavit says.
In addition, while on her security rounds, Cook would allegedly open her blouse and show her breasts to the inmate through a window in his cell, the report says.
Cook, who worked for the sheriff’s office for almost six months, has denied the sexual misconduct claims.
During the investigation, handwritten letters were discovered from Cook to the inmate described as “sexually explicit” and “intimate in nature.” In one of the letters, Cook writes: “I remember the first time I opened my shirt how excited you got … I just want to see you so bad and be in your arms again,” according to the report.
Investigators listened to at least eight recorded phone conversations between Cook and the inmate, which took place from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8. The conversations contained general topics of conversation and ended with each other saying “I love you,” the affidavit says.
The inmate’s mother also had contact with Cook, who she would text message and even meet in person, she said in the affidavit. One time the mother told her son during a visit that Cook had deposited money into his commissary. Cook even sent a package of Louisiana State University memorabilia to the mother, whose fiancé was an alumni member, says the affidavit, written by Sgt. Sam Stock.
Stock verified in the report that the inmate’s commissary jumped from $3.18 on Dec. 7 to $98.70 on Dec. 13.
When the inmate was questioned, he admitted that Cook let him kiss her in the closet. He then confessed that he asked her to perform oral sex on him, which she agreed to do but stopped when another inmate began to pound on a nearby wall, the report says.
The inmate also said that Cook exposed her breasts to him multiple times but kept her bra on, the report added.
Cook chose to resign Dec. 19 when she heard of the investigation’s findings. Stock tried to contact her for an interview but Austin-based defense attorney Jason Trumpler stepped in and informed him that she would not make a statement, the affidavit says.
Trumpler said Friday that the allegations against Cook are baseless.
“Some of the communication that she had with the inmate was probably inappropriate but there was no sexual contact with him,” he said. “She believes that the inmate has fabricated this to receive some sort of benefit in the jail.”
Trumpler says that Cook admits to just passing notes, letters and having phone conversations with the inmate. Although there may be a departmental policy against it, there were no laws broken, he says.
“There’s nothing illegal about this,” he said.
Cook is charged with improper sexual activity with a person in custody, a state jail felony; and official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor. As of Friday afternoon, she remains in jail awaiting the magistrates.
SEAN KIMMONS reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Hays Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.Email | Print