SBI: Deputy had sex with prisoner, then let her escape

GATES COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A grand jury has indicted an Eastern Carolina deputy sheriff for having sex with a prisoner that he was transporting to jail.

The SBI says Deputy Patrick Batts, a six-month employee of the Gates County Sheriff's Office, was indicted this morning on a charge of sexual contact by a custodian, obstruction of justice and first degree sexual offense.

Batts was arrested on Friday for the sexual assault on a prisoner.

A news release says the deputy was transporting a woman from Gates County to the Hertford County jail late Wednesday night. The SBI says early the next morning, Batts reported that the prisoner had escaped, while surveillance video showed that he let her get out of his cruiser and leave.

The deputy is being held on a $150,000 secured bond.