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STATE: ALERTS SLEPT THROUGH

A probation officer deleted texts about a loose rapist and lied about it, the state says.

The state blamed Verizon earlier this year when police say a convicted rapist with an ankle bracelet eluded his probation officer and assaulted another woman.

Now, the Department of Corrections says the probation officer slept through the text alerts warning her that Tommy Lee Sailor was on the move. Then she deleted them and lied about it, the state says.

The officer, Pamyla Crompton, resigned June 9. Attempts to reach her for comment Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.

The incident has caused the agency to rewrite statewide procedures for electronic monitoring - but not soon enough for the 19-year-old woman who told police Sailor attacked and threatened to kill her on Jan. 1.

"I'm shocked," she said Tuesday night, upon hearing the news from a St. Petersburg Times reporter. "I'm not even sure how I feel about it."

The woman, who is not being named because of the nature of the crime, told police she had met Sailor at Tilley's Place, a bar in South Tampa. They left before last call, about 2:45 a.m.

By that time, a monitoring company had already sent Crompton two text alerts - one at 12:44 a.m. and one at 1:57 a.m.

By 4 a.m., Crompton still hadn't tried to contact Sailor, 38, and that's when police say he held a screwdriver to the young woman's throat as he sexually battered her.

He told her he was a "serial rapist" and would kill her, police say. The exchange was recorded on a 911 call.

Police were still on the scene at 5 a.m. when Crompton finally arrived. She told her supervisors that she responded shortly after receiving the alerts at 4:54 a.m.

The department stood by her. Officials thought network problems with her Verizon service might have been to blame.

"At this point, it looks like the probation officer handled everything according to policy," Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said at the time.

The state asked Verizon to investigate.

For more than six months, the four-hour discrepancy remained unexplained. The department did not make its findings public until the state completed its investigation and a reporter asked about the case.

The report, released Tuesday, shows Crompton resigned five days after the case was closed.

The report states that Crompton violated policy by submitting false information.

"She lied about the time she received them," Plessinger said. "I believe she just slept through the alerts."

The incident prompted the agency to create a phone tree for on-call probation officers.

Starting June 1, all probation officers have been required to contact the monitoring company when they receive an alert. If the company doesn't hear from that officer within 15 minutes, it contacts the next person on the list.

Things might have turned out differently Jan. 1 if the phone tree had been in place then.

"That's impossible to say," Plessinger said.

The woman who reported the Jan. 1 rape said she's just trying to work through all her anger. She said she was comforted that the Department of Corrections investigated. She hopes others will be spared what she went through.

"That's what I'm concerned about - that he won't be able to hurt any other woman again," she said.

No charges have been filed against Crompton, and Plessinger said the State Attorney's Office isn't considering any.

Sailor's case is still in Hillsborough County Circuit Court. The next hearing is set for July 20.

Times staff writer Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3433.

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