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Two prison workers in Racine accused of assaulting inmate

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Karina Herrera, Lisa Hawkins

Karina Herrera, Lisa Hawkins

RACINE (WITI) -- They worked in a prison. Now, they're facing serious time behind bars themselves. Charges have been filed against two female workers at the Racine Correctional Institution. Investigators say they sexually assaulted an inmate.

A criminal complaint says the incriminating evidence was found during a search of Mario Barrio's cell. Three SD cards found in a box of oil pastels with numerous pornographic images and videos.

Investigators say 39-year-old Barrios, who was convicted in 1995 of first-degree reckless homicide, says he was given a cell phone in 2012 by 40-year-old Karina Herrera.

According to the complaint, Herrera worked in the health services unit at the Racine Correctional Institution. In addition to giving Barrios the illegal phone, the complaint says the SD cards they uncovered have sexual images of Herrera on them -- and a video of her performing a sex act.

Mario Barrios

Mario Barrios

According to the criminal complaint, Barrios did try to flush the SD cards down the toilet before admitting to sexual contact with both women. Barrios is now serving his time at the Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution.

Investigators say Barrios also used the cell phone to record sexual contact with a second woman, 33-year-old Lisa Hawkins. According to the complaint against Hawkins, she was a nurse for Guardian Health Care at the Racine Correctional Institution in 2012.

Both she and Herrera now face charges including second-degree sexual assault by correctional staff.

We reached out to the Racine Correctional Institution and Department of Corrections for comment -- but have not heard back at this time.

If convicted, Herrera and Hawkins each face up to 40 years in prison.


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