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Prisoner escapes Cumberland County Jail cell for sex

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Posted: Monday, March 12, 2012 5:48 pm | Updated: 5:53 pm, Mon Mar 12, 2012.

BIDDEFORD – The Biddeford man arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a U.S. Marshal on a Portland street in late January has added to his troubles after causing a security breach at the Cumberland County Jail this weekend, according to a press release issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

Arien L’Italien, 23, who is a federal prisoner, was caught returning to his cellblock from the women’s maximum-security section of the jail by a corrections officer in the early morning hours of March 10, the press release said.

A check of video from the jail revealed that L’Italien had entered the women’s cellblock near midnight in order to access the cell occupied by Karla Wilson. Wilson is a 25-year-old transient who is awaiting trial on four counts of gross sexual assault and two counts of aggravated assault.

Corrections officers perform a welfare check every 15 minutes, but L’Italien made up his bunk to look as though he were still in it, the press release said. He was then somehow able to unlock his cell door. Wilson was also able to manipulate the lock on her cell door, in order to let L’Italien inside.

The two know each other through mutual friends and were “interested in a sexual encounter,” the press release said. Both cells are on the same level of the maximum-security unit, but are separated by a walkway and two security doors.

As a result of the incident, L’Italien was moved to the super max unit within the jail and Wilson is now segregated in the intake unit.

A preliminary investigation showed that L’Italien communicated with Wilson through the jail’s ventilation system and asked her to manipulate the lock on her door so that it wouldn’t lock completely, according to the press release.

After reviewing videos and looking at the two cellblocks, “it appears the location and design of the corrections officer’s station, along with a lack of attention to detail played a major role in the security breach,” the press release said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office is now conducting an internal investigation to see if any policies were violated, and whether new measures need to be taken in light of this event.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, L’Italien is also being held on one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III initially ordered that L'Italien be detained until trial during his arraignment on Jan. 30.

L'Italien was charged with attempted murder after getting into a gunfight on Mellen Street in Portland with officers from the Maine Violent Offender Task Force, including a couple federal marshals.

The marshals were trying to arrest him on a warrant issued by Biddeford police for a stabbing on New Year’s Day that put the victim in the hospital with a neck wound.

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