Parolee blackmails probation officer after sexual relations, says SLED

ANDERSON CO., S.C. (WSPA) - A former agent with the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services has been arrested and charged with obstructing justice and misconduct in office, according to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

Heather Simpson Griffith, 30, has been arrested in connection with actions leading to false information given to a circuit court judge about a man's probation status.

The man, Christopher Ryan Merck, 33, of Easley, has been charged with obstructing justice in connection with the misinformation given to the judge.

Griffith was Merck's probation officer and if facing charges after SLED said she had sex with Merck between July 8, 2015 and March 14, 2016, along with providing him alcohol, as well as giving false testimony and documentation to a judge so Merck's probation ended early.

Merck was charged with blackmail after forcing Griffith to have sex with him against her will between March 14th and April 27th, as well extorting items from her, such as a TV, jewelry, clothing, and gift cards by threatening to expose her personal failings to her husband, employer, and the media.

Griffith and Merck are being held at the Anderson County Detention Center.

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