Guard had sex with juvenile inmate at Kissimmee corrections facility, sheriff says

A former female guard at a Kissimmee juvenile corrections facility is being accused of having sex with one of the detainees after moving him into a cell without a camera.

Rachelle Marnishia Edwards, 32, was arrested on Tuesday, May 16, by Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies on multiple felony charges. Edwards is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old inmate while she was employed at the Kissimmee Youth Academy, which is located at 2330 New Beginnings Road.

During a press conference last week, Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez provided details about the inappropriate relationship, which allegedly took place between January and February of this year.

Rachelle Edwards being walked by Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez
Rachelle Edwards was taken into custody on May 16, 2023 on multiple felony charges

According to Lopez, Edwards primarily worked the night shift at the academy, which provides mental health and substance abuse services for youth.

In January, the juvenile victim was transported to the academy. About three weeks after he arrived at the facility, Edwards initiated contact with the victim by writing him a letter asking his age.

The two continued to share letters and, at one point, the victim was transferred into a cell that did not have a camera. While the victim was incarcerated in the camera-less cell over a period of time, Edwards allegedly began engaging in sexual activity with him.

During a discussion with his mother, the juvenile spoke briefly of what was going on between he and Edwards. The mother contacted the facility and investigation began.

In February, Edwards was released from her position at the academy.

Authorities attempted to gain information from the juvenile and Edwards, but both were uncooperative and denied that anything was happening.

Eventually, the 17-year-old came forward to talk about what had happened. During an interview with detectives, Edwards gave a full confession and admitted to having sex with the juvenile.

Edwards faces four counts of unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, as well as two counts of indecent lewd or lascivious touching of certain minors.

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