The prison seamstress who helped two convicted murderers escape a maximum-security prison in upstate New York says any sexual contact she had with one of the inmates was not consensual.
Joyce Mitchell told the "Today Show" in an exclusive jailhouse interview broadcast Monday that her involvement with inmate Richard Matt "started out as a flirtation thing, but that's all it ever was." She said there was "never any love" between the two.
She also denied the two engaged in sexual intercourse.
She said that Matt "grabbed" her a "couple of times" and wanted her to perform oral sex on him. "And I said no. And when I said no, he grabbed my head and pushed me down there."
Court documents showed that Mitchell, who was married at the time, also fondled him.
Matt and prisoner David Sweat, who were discovered missing from their cells in the Clinton Correctional Facility on June 6, 2015, were the object of a massive multimillion-dollar manhunt that lasted about three weeks. Matt was shot and killed on June 26 by law enforcement near the Canadian border. Sweat was shot and captured days later in the same area.
Mitchell, 51, admitted to smuggling hacksaw blades and other tools to Matt, which he used in the break from the prison in Dannemora, N.Y. She admitted that she was supposed to play a roll in the escape by providing a getaway car, but had a panic attack and admitted herself to a hospital.
"I deserve to be punished," Mitchell told the "Today Show." "But, you know, people need to know that I was only trying to save my family."
She could get up to 7 years in prison when she is sentenced this month.