BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – A community corrections officer for the Vermont Department of Corrections is accused of sexual misconduct with a woman he was supervising.
Police say Joshua Russ, 35, paid her for oral sex on a few occasions beginning in January. Investigators say they have text messages between the Russ and the woman.
Russ was placed on administrative leave. According to the DOC, Russ worked at Southern State Correctional Facility from 2005 to 2008, and was rehired as a CCO at Brattleboro Probation and Parole in 2019.
“The Vermont Department of Corrections has zero tolerance for the behavior outlined in this allegation,” Interim DOC Commissioner James Baker said. “I cannot emphasize enough how upsetting these allegations are. The people of Vermont put a high level of trust in DOC personnel. I expect every staff member to honor that trust. If these allegations are proven to be true, the trust that is given to us was violated. I find that unacceptable and it will be dealt with internally swiftly.
“What I am extremely proud of is that DOC staff did exactly what professionals do: they learned of wrongdoing and immediately reported it. They were not complicit. They held each other accountable.”
Russ is being held for lack of bail and will be arraigned Friday. He