A staff member at a state juvenile prison in Mart was arrested Wednesday morning on a charge that he sexually assaulted a boy in custody last week, Texas Juvenile Justice Department officials announced.

The department started investigating after receiving an allegation against Jatavian Smith, 22, of Waco, shortly before midnight Friday, Juvenile Justice Department Director Camille Cain said in a press release.

Smith was suspended immediately, fired Monday and arrested Wednesday by the department’s Office of Inspector General, according to the press release. He was hired in June.

Smith had a 14-year-old boy perform oral sex on him in the boy’s cell, according to an arrest affidavit and jail records.

“I am outraged by this allegation, and my heart breaks for the youth, who received immediate medical and clinical care,” Cain said in the press release. “The safety of our youth is my highest priority, and I will not have that trust betrayed by rogue staff members. TJJD has zero tolerance for such behavior, and when such allegations occur, we will always act swiftly and pursue the highest possible penalties under the law.”

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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