'Not Guilty' Plea Entered By Former Case Worker

LEXINGTON, AP) - A plea of not guilty has been entered in Lexington by a former case worker at the Federal Medical Center to charges she had an 18-month sexual relationship with an inmate and then lied to federal agents about it.

Kathleen Spanyer did not comment as she left federal court in Lexington yesterday after her first court appearance on two charges. They were giving a false statement to a federal officer and abuse of a ward. If convicted on both counts, Spanyer could receive a maximum of 20 years in prison. The federal sentencing guidelines are no longer mandatory, and it is unlikely Spanyer would receive the maximum sentence if convicted.

The 44-year-old Spanyer is the third staff person at the Federal Medical Center in three years to be charged with having sexual relations with an inmate. It is not clear what Spanyer's duties were or when she left her job at the prison, which specializes in inmates with medical needs.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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