BENTON — A former Franklin County Sheriff's deputy was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging him with one count of criminal sexual assault and one count of custodial sexual misconduct in relation to an incident that is alleged to have occurred early last year involving an adult female who had been arrested.

According to a news release from Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones, Illinois State Police and Franklin County Sheriff's deputies at 9:30 a.m. Thursday arrested Christopher N. Hampton, 37, of Mulkeytown, at his home. 

The release said an incident allegedly occurred on Jan. 16, 2016, when Hampton was employed as a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy; the victim is an adult female who had been arrested on an unrelated matter.

According to the information sheet filed with the Franklin County Circuit Clerk, Hampton allegedly "committed the offense of criminal sexual assault, in that said defendant, knowing that (the victim) was unable to give knowing consent due to intoxication, committed an act of sexual penetration on (the victim), in that he placed his penis in the vagina of (the victim)." The charge is a Class 1 felony, which does not qualify for probation and could come with between three years and life in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The information sheet also said Hampton allegedly committed "the offense of custodial sexual misconduct in that said defendant, an employee, a deputy of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, committed an act of sexual penetration with (the victim), in that he intentionally placed his penis in the vagina of (the victim), while she was in the custody of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department." This is a Class 3 felony that is punishable by between two and five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The release says Jones was made aware of the incident on the day it allegedly happened and placed Hampton on administrative leave immediately. Two days later, Jones asked the Illinois State Police to investigate, and Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens later referred the case to the State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutors Office. Hampton later resigned as a deputy. 

Hampton is being held in the Franklin County Jail on $150,000 bond.

Special prosecutor Linda Lamken is handling the prosecution.

Editor's note: Initials included in court documents that could have identified the victim have been replaced with "the victim" because The Southern does not identify victims of sexual assault.

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