Former law officer arrested for SORNA violations


An Atmore man who formerly worked in law enforcement has found himself on the wrong side of the law again.

James Marzel Lewis Jr., 43, of a Jack Springs Road address, was arrested August 25 on charges that he committed two violations of the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

Lewis saw his law enforcement career come to an end in July 2010 when, as a correctional officer at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, he was arrested and charged with impregnating an inmate.

He reportedly entered a guilty plea in 2011 to one count of sexual abuse in the second degree (custodial sexual misconduct), putting his name on the national and state sex offender registries. Second degree sexual abuse is a Class A misdemeanor.

State law allows that it “shall be unlawful for any employee to engage in sexual conduct with a person who is in the custody of the Department of Corrections, the Department of Youth Services, a sheriff, a county, or a municipality.”

Lewis reportedly changed addresses and failed to register the new address, a SORNA violation, and falsified information on his most recent registration form, bringing an additional charge of second-degree forgery.

According to an employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division, the former law officer remained in the county jail, under a $20,000 bond, on Tuesday.