Prison inmate pleads guilty to trying to rape employee

Jan. 24—ANDERSON — On the day John Thompson was scheduled to go on trial, he entered guilty pleas to charges of attempted rape of a female worker at Pendleton Correctional Facility.

Thompson, 23, entered the pleas Monday in Madison Circuit Court Division 6 to felony counts of attempted rape and criminal confinement.

Judge Mark Dudley set sentencing for Feb. 24; Thompson faces a maximum sentence of 40 years.

He was incarcerated on a prior conviction of rape and criminal confinement.

The state's case was presented by Deputy Prosecutor Matt Savage, and Thompson was represented by Brandon Townsend.

According to the probable cause affidavit by Sean Wyatt, an investigator with the state Department of Correction, the incident took place Nov. 19, 2020, when Thompson used an institutional weapon to try to rape a mental health professional.

Thompson wanted to talk with the employee, and she directed him to his primary mental health provider. In her office, Thompson said he needed help getting out of a chair because of pain on his left side.

When the mental health provider went to open the door, Thompson grabbed her from behind with both arms around her neck and displayed a "blade."

He told the worker to remove her pants, and she started to scream for help.

A second employee told Wyatt he heard a "muffled scream" and cry for help. Two doctors entered the woman's office and pulled Thompson off of her.

During an interview, Thompson alleged the woman initiated the contact and removed her pants voluntarily.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.