Former jail employee arrested on charges involving sex with inmate

Panama, February 2017

Employee became pregnant and listed the inmate as the father. He is now finishing a 25-year sentence at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton

FROSTPROOF — A former Polk County Sheriff’s Office civilian detention clerk was arrested Thursday and charged with sexual misconduct with an inmate, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

Tanquisia McGill, 21, of Lakeland faces charges of sexual misconduct between detention facility employees and inmates, interference with county prisoners and culpable negligence, said Carrie Horstman, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

McGill is accused of having sex with inmate Johnathan Lott, 20, in December 2015 when she reportedly let him out of his cell at the South County Jail and into the area where she was working, Horstman said.

Lott was arrested by the Lakeland Police Department in 2015 on several charges related to a traffic fatality, for which he was indicted by a grand jury. In January 2016 he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Reports said the two began a romantic relationship, which led to her allowing him into the control room to have sex with her where he had access to electrical controls to all doors as well as intermediate weapons and keys to the facility.

This occurred while detention deputies were serving meals to inmates in another dorm, reports said.

Lott was transferred to the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton in February 2016.

McGill became pregnant from the one incident, reports said, and listed Lott as the father on the child’s birth certificate after the baby was born in September 2016.

They maintained a relationship through phone calls, which were recently reported to the Sheriff’s Office, Horstman said.

That led to detectives launching an investigation in which McGill admitted to the sexual misconduct inside the jail, reports said

McGill was hired in October 2014 as a detention support specialist. She was paid $13.23 an hour.

She resigned upon her arrest but Horstman said had she not she would have been terminated.