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California prison warden facing additional charges for alleged sexual abuse of 3 inmates

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that former California prison warden, Ray J. Garcia, was charged with another seven counts of sexually abusive conduct against three female inmates.

The 55-year-old was the former warden at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, an all-female low-security institution. One month after his arrest, he retired.

Garcia was charged with one count of sexual abuse of a ward in September 2021. On Tuesday, the federal grand jury issued an eight-count superseding indictment, including seven counts of sexually abusive conduct and one count of making false statements to government agents.

The first victim, Victim 1, from the September indictment, accused Garcia of molesting her and forcing her and another inmate to undress while doing his rounds. Allegedly Garcia took nude photos of the woman and showed the victim explicit photos of himself.

The Justice Department stated that Garcia’s government-issued phone included hundreds of graphic photos, including some of the warden nude.

Victim 1 alleged that Garcia tried to keep her from coming forward about the abuse by telling her that he was “close friends” with the official responsible for investigating allegations against the prison staff and that he would not be terminated from his position. The abuse of the first victim was alleged to have occurred between December 2019 to March 2020.

The former warden pleaded not guilty to the initial September charge and denied the accusations made by Victim 1.

When the FBI raided Garcia’s home, they found photos of nude inmates on his personal laptop and work cell phone, prosecutors alleged. “If they’re undressing, I’ve already looked,” Garcia told the FBI. “I don’t, like, schedule a time like ‘you be undressed, and I’ll be there.’” The one count of making false statements to government agents alleged that Garcia knew this statement was not true.

As part of the superseding indictment, prosecutors accused Garcia of requesting several female inmates undress at a specific time and that he molested them. The latest indictment includes two additional inmates from FCI Dublin, Victim 2 and Victim 3. The abuse of the second two victims was alleged to have occurred between March 2020 and July 2021.

According to the Associated Press, four other employees from the Dublin institution have been charged with sexual abuse of inmates. An investigation by the news organization uncovered a “culture of abuse and cover-ups” in FCI Dublin, with some referring to the prison as a “rape club.”