Marcelo Lara, Towner, now also charged with adultery

A former cook accused of having a sexual relationship with a female inmate at the Heart of the America Correctional Center is now also charged with adultery, a Class A misdemeanor in the state of North Dakota.

Marcelo Revelero Lara, 51, Towner, had previously been charged in March with sexual abuse of a ward, a Class C felony, in district court in Pierce County. According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Lara had sex with the 33-year-old female inmate in the walk-in cooler in the kitchen jail. The woman had been allowed to assist in preparation of the jail meals while she was incarcerated and Lara was her supervisor. Another female inmate working in the kitchen told authorities about the relationship. Both the female inmate and Lara told authorities that the sex was consensual.

Lara was married at the time, according to court documents. Under state law, adultery is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and $3,000 in fines. A charge can only be filed if the wronged spouse signs a complaint with authorities within one year of the commission of the offense. Prosecutions are rare in the state. The adultery complaint against Lara was filed July 31, according to court records. His wife, Francisca Lara, signed the complaint.