|Kelly Lee Willhoite|
By Susan Robertson
WILLIAMSBURG – A former corrections officer at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail could face hard time for abusing his position of authority to take sexual liberties with two female inmates.
Kelly Lee Willhoite, 48, was convicted Wednesday in Circuit Court of misdemeanor indecent exposure and carnal knowledge of a prisoner. He pleaded not guilty and insisted that one of the victims' allegations was entirely false, concocted in an effort to get him fired.
Assistant commonwealth attorney Michael Gaten asserted that Willhoite exploited his authority and was "preying" on women. Willhoite was charged with indecent exposure in February, and with carnal knowledge in August 2011.
The victim from August testified she was in the back of the jail medical unit when she first encountered Willhoite. She said he engaged her in conversation and spoke to her for most of the day about life and his family. Eventually the conversation turned. "He asked me if I could take off my shirt so he could see my breasts," she testified.
She said Willhoite pressed the issue when she refused, asking 3-4 more times for her to flash him. The only other officer in medical that day was on the other side of the unit. She said Willhoite retrieved food from his desk and gave it to her, which she said made her feel obligated to give him what he wanted. She testified Willhoite then asked if he could touch her. He reached through the tray slot in her door and touched her breasts and eventually between her legs.
"He said it felt good," she testified. "And he wished he was on night shift because we could take it a whole lot further."