A former Fayette County probation officer was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted for custodial sexual misconduct and ethics violation charges.

According to a release, 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin announced Friday  that 51-year-old Michael Steven Painter, was convicted by a jury trial in December for the misconduct charge, as well as use of official position or office for personal gain.

Painter, of Haleyville, was employed as a probation officer assigned to Fayette County.

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The release said during a criminal investigation that began in May 2020, a report found that Painter had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a woman under his supervision.

Investigators with the 24th Judicial Circuit's criminal investigation division learned of explicit images and videos that were sent and solicited by Painter and numerous acts of custodial sexual misconduct.

Hamlin said Painter "exploited the vulnerabilities of a woman who he was supposed to be helping."

"She should have been able to trust him, and the court system should have been able to trust him," Hamlin said. "Instead, he abused his position of authority for his own gratification."

Painter was arrested and fired from his role in May 2020.

Painter received 20 years in prison for the misconduct charge and 10 years for the ethic conviction, which he will serve consecutively.

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