Former detention center nurse accused of sex with Chester County inmate

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A former nurse who worked at the Chester County Detention Center is accused of taking an inmate off jail property to have sex with him on several different occasions.

Warrants claim that Katherine Heckman, 38, had a sexual relationship for months with state inmate Sean Lyles.

Heckman is charged with sexual contact with an inmate and aiding an escape from prison.

Investigators allege that on at least six occasions in October and November, Heckman picked Lyles up from the jail and took him somewhere for sex.

"It's disheartening. Seems like we're losing ground on morals,” resident Teddy Odom said.

As a state trustee serving out the end of his sentence, Lyles was allowed to perform odd jobs around the detention center.

Heckman is also an EMT with Chester County EMS and has been placed on leave without pay. Chester County supervisor Shane Stuart told Channel 9 that if DHEC pulls Heckman’s EMT license, the county will end her employment.

"I can't imagine anybody in any town getting away with this,” resident Webbie Keels said. “I mean there should be more supervision on the top."

Heckman is the daughter of jail supervisor Richard Odom, but Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood said Odom is not part of the investigation and had no knowledge of the incidents involving Heckman.

"We got on this quick, as soon as we heard about it, and put an end to it,” Underwood said. “This isn't going to happen here."

Underwood said he is looking into how Lyles was able to leave the property and return unnoticed, and what supervision may have been lacking.

Underwood asked the Union County Sheriff's Office to step in and investigate the case. That investigation is still ongoing.

Heckman has been placed on leave without pay.

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