FRONT ROYAL – A judge sentenced a former jail officer on Monday to time served for committing a sex act with an inmate.
Chasity Renee Sherfey pleaded guilty in Warren County Circuit Court to one felony count of committing carnal knowledge of an inmate, Kelly Dolan, at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail sometime between June 1 and June 15.
Sherfey, 39, also pleaded guilty to committing two counts of unauthorized delivery to an inmate, both misdemeanors, during the same time period. Sherfey resigned her position from the jail on July 8.
Judge William W. Sharp accepted Sherfey’s pleas and sentenced her to two years in prison for the carnal knowledge charge and 12 months in jail for each of the two misdemeanors. Sharp suspended the sentences except for time served and ordered her to complete one year of supervised probation. Sherfey spent approximately 12 days in jail awaiting trial.
An agreement reached between Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton and Sherfey’s defense counsel Martin Scheller called for Sherfey to plead guilty to the three charges. The deal also called for the court to impose the agreed-upon punishment.
Sharp explained to Sherfey that if he had rejected the agreement she could have withdrawn her guilty pleas. The judge added that she could have let her guilty plea stand but the court may impose a sentence greater than the punishment called for in the agreement.
Layton provided a synopsis of the evidence he planned to present had the case gone to trial. In the course of her duties as an officer for the regional jail, Sherfey on two occasions provided contraband — not weapons or drugs — to Dolan, an inmate at the facility, Layton said. Sherfey also performed a sex act on Dolan around this time.
Sharp accepted the plea agreement.
“This is a concerning case ... that this was a breach of your oath, a breach of your responsibilities, is a very serious violation,” Sharp told Sherfey. “But, taking into account all of the circumstances, I think the penalties here are warranted.
“Ms. Sherfey is going to have a significant period of incarceration over her head if she cannot demonstrate in the coming year that she’s basically turned away from this and lead a straightforward life from this point forward,” Sharp added.
No range of punishment was calculated as these were non-guideline offenses, Layton told the judge. Sherfey has no prior criminal record, the prosecutor added. Layton went on to note that Sherfey’s previous role as a corrections officer made it problematic for her to remain held at the regional jail while awaiting trial.
Layton stated in an email Monday afternoon that he did not believe that state code requires Sherfey to register with the Virginia State Police as a sex offender.
Authorities originally charged her with two counts of carnal knowledge of an inmate and five counts of unauthorized delivery of items to the same person.