Thursday, March 28, 2013 | 4:57 p.m.
A Nevada corrections officer faces criminal charges, after prison inmates accused him of having sexual relations with a woman convicted of killing a child.
The state's attorney general charged Eugenio Dimas, 51, with official misconduct and having voluntary sex with Monique Maestas, 26, who is serving a life sentence for murder in the 2003 stabbing death of 3-year-old Kristyanna Cowan.
Dimas' lawyer, Damian Sheets, was at a hearing Thursday in Clark County District Court and is set to return April 25 for a status check. Dimas is not in custody.
A complaint filed in February says several inmates claimed Dimas and Maestas were having sexual relations in a pod at the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center in North Las Vegas. Two inmates said they walked up on Dimas and Maestas standing closer together than appropriate for an officer and inmate. The complaint alleges the acts took place in fall 2012.
Maestas, an investigators’ report said, first denied having an affair with Dimas. Later, Maestas changed her story, telling investigators she had sexual relations with Dimas. She also said she received gifts from Dimas, including jewelry and photographs of his family. Maestas told officials she'd talked to Dimas over the telephone.
The reports surfaced last October, after one inmate told officials that Maestas was threatening the other women in the prison pod, because she was jealous of them talking to Dimas. Another inmate told investigators she had been flirting with Dimas, because it made her feel "special" and admitted being jealous of Maestas.
During an interview with officials, Dimas denied having sex with Maestas or giving the woman a pendant and photographs. When shown photographs found in Maestas’ cell, Dimas said he didn’t recognize pictures of his mother and daughter. Dimas later acknowledged giving Maestas the photos and his phone number.
An officer who worked with Dimas told investigators he knew of no relationship between Dimas and Maestas.
Maestas was 16 years old when she was arrested with her brother, Beau, after a stabbing that left Kristyanna dead and her 10-year-old sister, Brittney Bergeron, paralyzed. The crime took place in an RV park next to the CasaBlanca casino in Mesquite. Witnesses testified at trial the siblings were angry with the boyfriend of the girls’ mother, because they said he sold them salt when they thought they were buying methamphetamine.