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Mississippi Ex-Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI About Requesting Nude Photos From Inmate

TOPSHOT - People watch the April's full moonset, also known as the "Pink Moon", rising behind the clouds in Singapore on April 24, 2024. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi sheriff pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a false statement to FBI agents when they questioned him about requesting and receiving nude photos and videos of a female inmate and about giving her preferential treatment in the jail he supervised, federal prosecutors said.

Terry Grassaree, 61, of Macon, was sheriff of Noxubee County for eight years, until January 2020.

Grassaree used Facebook on March 5, 2019, to request a video from the inmate, and he received multiple nude images from her that day, according to an indictment of him issued last year. Grassaree sent messages back to the inmate, including, “I like it” and “Body looks perfect,” according to the indictment.

Grassaree gave the inmate benefits that others did not receive, or did not receive as often, including the use of a prohibited cellphone, tobacco and other items, the indictment said. She was also made a trusty and was given a job cooking in the jail.

During a July 2020 FBI interview, Grassaree lied about requesting the photos and videos from the inmate, and his statements were intended to influence the investigation of him and the treatment of detainees in the Noxubee County jail, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office for the southern district of Mississippi.

A federal grand jury indicted Grassaree on several charges, including wire fraud and destruction or falsification of records in a federal investigation. He faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one charge of making a false statement. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Photos You Should See – April 2024

One of Grassaree’s former deputies, Vance Phillips, pleaded guilty last year to using facilities in interstate commerce for the purpose of committing bribery. Phillips faces up to five years in prison. His sentencing has not been scheduled, according to court records.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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