Prison psychologist admits lying about inmate affair

March 8, 2008 9:54:19 AM PST
A former prison psychologist has acknowledged having an affair with an inmate under her care and lying to federal investigators about it. Magdalena Sanchez faces up to six months in jail after pleading guilty Friday to making a false statement. Her sentencing date has not been set.

She was originally also charged with sexual abuse of a ward, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

An indictment filed in April accused Sanchez of having a sexual tryst with an inmate at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn between October 2005 and February 2006, and then denying it to a federal agent in September 2006.

"I was asked if I had a sexual relationship with the inmate, and I said I had not, when in fact I had a sexual relationship with the inmate," Sanchez, who is married, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes Jr. on Friday. "I knew I was not telling the truth."

Sanchez has resigned from her prison job. She told the judge she was getting "support therapy" from a doctor.