WSAZ Investigates | Former parole officer supervisor sentenced in civil rights case

A former parole officer in West Virginia was sentenced to prison in connection with a case involving a woman who was sexually assaulted while on parole.
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - We have an update to our investigation into issues of civil rights.

We reported last week when a former parole officer was sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a parolee.

On Thursday, that parole officer’s supervisor has learned that he also will be headed to prison because he knew about the assaults and did nothing to stop them.

While the opioid epidemic has turned countless lives upside down, especially in our region, investigators say what happened to one woman in recovery was an unbelievable failure by the system meant to help get her back on track.

The victim was released on parole and under the care of Anthony Demetro, her former parole officer. But while staying in a drug treatment home in 2021, investigators say Demetro used his position of power to sexually assault her.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison last week, but the crimes by those in power don’t stop there. Investigators say Demetro’s supervisor, David Jones, knew about the assaults but did nothing to help her.

According to court documents, when the victim came to Jones, who was a regional director of parole at the time, he admits, the victim “asked me to help her. I did not assign the victim a new parole officer.

He also told the victim to lie to the FBI and delete recordings she said showed Demetro sexually harassing her -- a concern WSAZ’s Sarah Sager directly asked U.S. attorney Will Thompson who represents the Southern District of West Virginia.

Sager: “The fact that evidence was destroyed, and they were told not to say anything, that is very concerning.”

“Very scary, very concerning ... the fact that they were trying to sweep it under the rug,” Thompson said.

On Thursday, Jones was given the maximum sentence -- more than seven years in prison for federal witness tampering. Jesse Forbes, the victim’s attorney, was pleased with the sentence and had harsh words about the crime.

“This is deplorable,” Forbes said. “This is isn’t just a series of missteps. This is cool, calculated, and thought out lying to the FBI as a supervisor who is supposed to turn these people in, supposed to follow the law.”

Cameras aren’t allowed in federal court, but Sager was in the courtroom. She reported that Jones showed remorse Thursday, crying and apologizing to the victim, as well as asking for forgiveness.

“I’ve disgraced myself, my family, and everyone who believed in me,” Jones said.

But for Forbes, that’s little consolation.

“I understand at his sentencing that he said the worst part was the shame that he felt,” Forbes said. “You know what the worst part was? It was to allow the sexual abuse of my clients -- the trauma that those people are going through. That’s the worst part.”

In addition to this case, prosecutors say Jones also coached another parolee on how to use drugs and go undetected. They say that parolee later overdosed in front of her children.

For previous coverage:

WSAZ Investigates | Civil Rights Violations