A former Child Protection Services worker in Tishomingo County has been indicted on sexual assault charges involving a minor.

Lauren Rose Cavness, 26, of County Road 142, Tishomingo, was indicted by a Tishomingo County Grand Jury, according to the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Department. The grand jury returned true bills on the charges of two counts of sexual battery, child exploitation, and contributing to the delinquency/neglect of a minor.

Cavness turned herself in and was released on $70,000 bond.

The indictment followed a months-long investigation into allegations of improper conduct. Agencies involved were the sheriff’s department, Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Special Investigation Unit and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Public Integrity Division.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Cavness had allegedly been involved in inappropriate situations with juveniles under her care, according to the sheriff’s department.

Her attorney, Tony Farese, told The Associated Press that Cavness started working for Child Protection Services in 2017 and was terminated in February. He said she is cooperating with law enforcement.

In a separate case, the sheriff’s department reported the arrest of an Iuka woman on contraband and other charges.

Amanda Rose (Hare) Smith, 39, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of introducing contraband (narcotics) into a correctional facility, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to sell and felony tampering with evidence.

Bond was set at $50,000.

Her arrest followed a traffic stop on Highway 72. Drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle, and, at the jail, Smith attempted to hide alleged used drug needles, methamphetamine and other drugs, according to the sheriff’s department.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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