A Columbia, Tennessee man was charged Monday with obstructing a federal investigation into allegations that he sexually abused an inmate in his custody, 

officials stated.

James Stewart Thomas, 31, a corrections officer with the Maury County Jail, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of falsification of records.

According to the indictment, Thomas wrote an official report in which he falsely claimed that he had reported to two Maury County Jail supervisors that an inmate had made sexual advances toward him while the inmate was in his custody at a hospital.

Thomas falsely claimed that those two Maury County Jail supervisors both advised him not to write a report about those alleged sexual advances by the inmate.

He omitted that he had a sexual relationship with the inmate after the inmate’s release from the custody of the Maury County Jail.

If convicted, Thomas faces up to 20 years in prison.

The FBI investigated the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Klopf of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.