By The Associated Press

JESSUP, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s corrections department says an inmate allegedly tried to sexually assault a correctional officer at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup.

The department said it happened early Friday morning, when a correctional officer was escorting an inmate assigned to kitchen duty.

According to the department, the officer says she was shoved into a closet by an inmate, where he allegedly attempted to sexually assault her.

The department says the correctional officer was taken to a local hospital for an examination and treatment. The department says she has subsequently identified her attacker.

A union official says the incident reflects a staffing issue. Patrick Moran, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Maryland Council 3 union, said the officer was assigned to two tiers, which he says is inadequate staffing.

Renata Seergae, a department spokeswoman, wrote in an email the institution was appropriately staffed at the time.

The department says the incident remains under investigation.