Prison captain arrested, accused of sexual misconduct with a minor

- Officials with Florence Police Department say Friday a captain at the Red Rock Correctional Center in Eloy is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to a statement, a 16-year-old girl disclosed to investigators, during an interview, that she had been in a relationship with 46-year-old Paul Scott Thornton for about 11 months. The relationship, according to the girl, became sexual in nature in April of 2017.

Florence Police officials say they started the investigation on February 5, after someone reported that he saw an adult man and a juvenile female "making out". Police say it was later determined that Thornton was aware of the girl's age.

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections website, the Red Rock Correctional Center, located in Eloy, is a medium-custody private prison that is operated and managed by CoreCivic, Inc. The facility, which now provides custody for up to 2,000 adult male inmates, opened in 2006, and has been under contract with the Arizona Department of Corrections since January 2014.

According to Florence Police officials, there could be additional charges in this case.

Thornton, according to a CoreCivic spokesperson, has been placed on administrative leave.

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