ROCKLAND — A Knox County Jail guard was arrested this week, accused of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Andre Elbreisus Photo courtesy of Waldo County Jail

Andre Elbreisus, 41, of Searsmont, was charged Friday, Dec. 2 with Class B gross sexual assault. He was arrested Nov. 30 in Waldo County and is being held at the Waldo County Jail in Belfast.

He made his initial court appearance Friday via Zoom where Justice Jeffrey Hjelm agreed to the request by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Fernald to set bail at $10,000 cash.

The criminal complaint states that Elbreisus engaged in a sexual act with a woman who was detained at the facility. State law makes it a crime because the officer has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim.

Knox County Sheriff Patrick Polky said Elbreisus is on paid administrative leave. Federal law requires that due process be done before a government employee can be placed on unpaid leave or fired for alleged misconduct.

The sheriff said as soon as the issue was brought to the jail’s attention, the district attorney’s office was immediately contacted and the Rockland Police Department began the investigation. The offense is alleged to have occurred on Nov. 6.

The Sheriff’s Office has fully cooperated with the investigation, he noted.

Elbreisus was hired earlier this year. He is a graduate of Lynn English High School in Lynn, Mass. and earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice from ASA College in New York City, according to his Facebook page.

The offense carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 23 unless a grand jury indicts him prior to that date.