AP

Federal prison worker pleads guilty to inmate sex abuse

Oct 27, 2022, 4:12 AM | Updated: 4:42 pm

FILE - A sign for the Federal Correctional Institution Dublin is displayed Jan. 9, 2019, in Dublin,...

FILE - A sign for the Federal Correctional Institution Dublin is displayed Jan. 9, 2019, in Dublin, Calif. One of five workers accused of sexually abusing inmates at a federal women's prison in California has pleaded guilty and could face up to two years in prison. Enrique Chavez entered the plea on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Authorities say he was a food service foreman at the San Francisco Bay Area federal lockup in Dublin two years ago when he fondled an inmate in a locked pantry. (Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

(Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — One of five workers accused of sexually abusing inmates at a federal women’s prison in California pleaded guilty on Thursday, prosecutors said.

Enrique Chavez entered a plea to one count of abusive sexual contact with a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Federal prosecutors said Chavez, 50, was a food service foreman there two years ago when he locked the door to the pantry and fondled an inmate.

Chavez could face up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on Feb. 2, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“The public trusts correctional officers to act with integrity, but instead, Chavez used his position of power to sexually abuse an inmate under his supervision,” said a statement from Zachary Shroyer, special agent in charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General in Los Angeles.

Chavez was the fifth employee at the Dublin prison to be charged with sexual abuse of inmates since June 2021. Others include the prison’s former warden and a chaplain. He is the third to have pleaded guilty.

The former chaplain, James Theodore Highhouse, was sentenced in August to seven years in prison — more than double the recommended punishment in federal sentencing guidelines.

Ross Klinger, a recycling technician, pleaded guilty in February but has yet to be sentenced.

The former warden, Ray J. Garcia, has pleaded not guilty to abusing three women. He is scheduled to go on trial in November.

Earlier this year, an Associated Press investigation revealed years of sexual misconduct at FCI Dublin. The AP also detailed steps that were taken to keep abuse secret, such as ignoring allegations, retaliating against whistleblowers and sending prisoners to solitary confinement or other prisons for reporting abuse.

The Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons convened a task force of 18 senior executives to visit Dublin, examine conditions and meet with inmates and staff members.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

6 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

3 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

4 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Federal prison worker pleads guilty to inmate sex abuse