By HANNAH JOHNSON – Stillwater Gazette
A certified medical assistant at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater was sentenced in Washington County District Court earlier this month for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Yvonn Noemi Lerro-Miller of Osceola, Wis., was convicted of a felony because of a sexual relationship she had with an inmate in the Bayport facility.
According to the complaint report, the offenses occurred from August through November 2010, but Lerro-Miller states the relationship began in June 2010.
The MCF staff began monitoring Lerro-Miller’s movements, contacts and phone calls within the facility in September 2010. From November to December, the staff discovered in their investigation that Lerro-Miller was engaged in a sexual relationship and she was pregnant with an inmate’s baby. Staff searched the inmate’s cell and found photos of Lerro-Miller on the inmate’s cell phone, letters and an ultrasound photo.
During one of the monitored phone calls staff heard the defendant admit to another nurse that she had sexual intercourse with the inmate in one of the medical clinic’s rooms. Lerro-Miller said they were almost caught a few times. Lerro-Miller also said during the conversation that she often talks to the inmate on the phone even though she knows MCF staff monitors the calls.
In mid-December, the Bayport Police Department was informed that Lerro-Miller had a miscarriage. DNA testing confirmed the inmate was the father and the fetus was approximately 17 to 18 weeks at the time of the miscarriage.
When giving her statement to BPD, Lerro-Miller admit she was in an intimate relationship with the inmate but there "wasn’t intercourse all the time" and "they would talk a lot." Lerro-Miller also said that even though she had a sexual relationship with the inmate she wasn’t sure how she got pregnant. Later in the interview, Lerro-Miller said she was trying to get pregnant with the inmate’s baby.
Lerro-Miller confirmed that prison employees are trained regarding relationships with offenders, acknowledging that she knew it was against the law for employees to have sexual relationships with offenders. Lerro-Miller said she knew she was supposed to control her behavior and that "you never think it’s going to happen to you."
As part of her sentence, Lerro-Miller will be on probation for 10 years with several conditions. Lerro-Miller must serve 90 days in jail with credit for one day served, complete individual therapy, have no contact with the inmate until she has had therapy and have no similar offenses. Lerro-Miller must also register as a predatory offender and pay a $100 fine plus fees and surcharges.