AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. -

Love letters, smuggled gifts and sex in jail has put an Airway Heights Corrections Center counselor in the crosshairs of Airway Heights police who want her charged with felony misconduct after she admitted to having sex with an inmate.

On April 4, a female corrections officer noticed the counselor and inmate, both with their pants unzipped, in a small prison classroom. On Monday it was learned that this wasn't a spontaneous event but first involved a secret stash of love letters and smuggled-in gifts.

The counselor told investigators, "I was witnessed by another officer being inappropriate, my shirt was up and my bra was showing."

However when confronted by detectives, both eventually admitted they were having sex and corrections officials say the blame lies with the staff member.

"Being raped in prison is never to be part of an offender's sentence," Risa Kleme at Airway Heights Corrections Center said. "They are never to be victimized. We are their custodians and we're here to provide their safety and security while they are incarcerated."

According to a report obtained by KXLY through a public records request, the counselor concealed her relationship with the convicted rapist by "writing him letters under an assumed name and used a bogus return address."

The report states the counselor "had planned to have an affair with (the inmate) after he was released," in October. Now prison officials are treating the case like a sexual assault and view the inmate as a victim.

"People who are victims of sexual violence in prison carry that beyond the walls of the prison when they leave, so they may act out in the community cause problems with their family, problems with them being able to maintain a job," Kleme said.

While you might think this sex act could be consensual, prison officials don't look at it that way. Without protection from sexual assaults prisoners feel the need to arm themselves, and unpunished rapes lead to more violence behind bars.