Nebraska prison guard convicted of sexually abusing murderer inmate and having baby with him avoids jail sentence

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A former Nebraska prison guard convicted of sexual assault of an inmate imprisoned for murder and having his baby avoided jail time.

Samantha Cedillo, 31 at the time of the accusation in March, was charged in 2023 with first-degree sexual assault of an inmate — which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Cedillo pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation on the amended charge of attempt of a class 2A felony.

However, Cedillo was spared jail time when District Court Judge LeAnne Srb sentenced her to three years of probation. Cedillo is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm and ordered to maintain employment, abstain from drugs and alcohol, attend a women’s trauma group, and participate in a parenting program. Cedillo must also register as a sex offender.

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If Cedillo completes her probation, she is eligible to have the conviction dropped.

“This is a disturbing case,” Srb told Cedillo. “What happened here should not have happened.”

Her attorney, James McGough, said, “One of the issues created with trauma she has experienced in her past, it changes someone and has ripple effects. A struggle to create clear lines and boundaries.”

Cedillo worked at the Omaha Correctional Center as a nonclinical program manager starting in June 2021.

Prison staff members allegedly suspected Cedillo of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 47-year-old man serving a life sentence for murder.

The convicted murderer worked as a library clerk at the prison but was removed after the allegations. However, the pair reportedly continued to have close relations, including inside Cedillo’s office.

The Omaha World-Herald reported, “In March 2022, Cedillo was seen on surveillance taking off her radio belt while the inmate was in her office and they moved behind the door and out of the camera’s view. When another officer came into the library, Cedillo was seen hurrying back to her chair with an untucked shirt and messy hair, according to reports.”

When asked to write a report regarding the alleged incident, Cedillo responded by resigning.

Law enforcement investigators later discovered a baby registry that Cedillo had created. The baby’s alleged due date was mid-December — nine months after the March incident.

Cedillo and the inmate allegedly continued to communicate through text messages via an illegal cell phone the murderer had in his possession.

Authorities said the baby’s DNA matched the inmate’s.

According to Nebraska law, it is a felony for any employee or contractor within a state prison, city, or county jail to subject an inmate or parolee to sexual contact, regardless of consent.

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