By Mansour Taleb
DUBLIN, CA –Federal Correctional Officer Enrique Chavez was charged in a federal indictment with “two counts of abusive sexual contact against a prison inmate” at the Federal Correctional Institute of Dublin (CA),” according to the U.S. Department of Justice this week.
The indictment charged Chavez with “two counts of abusive sexual contact against a prison inmate on separate occasions in October 2020.”
The indictment also alleged Chavez was “engaged in intentional sexual contact with Victim 1, identified as “the female inmate detained at FCI Dublin and thereby under the custodial, supervisory and disciplinary authority of Chavez.”
The DOJ said Chavez was arrested in Arizona on March 20. His initial court appearance was in U.S. District Court in Arizona, where he is being held pending transfer to the U.S. District Court in Oakland to face these charges.
According to the indictment, around the time that Chavez, 49 and from Manteca, CA, was charged with sexual abuse, he was promoted to the position of Cook Supervisor/Foreman. His job was to “supervise and had disciplinary authority over the female inmates incarcerated at FCI Dublin.”
The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, “Above all else, the Bureau of Prisons is charged with providing safe and humane treatment of all who are in their custody.”
Monaco added, “As this case makes clear, the Department of Justice is committed to holding BOP personnel accountable, including through criminal charges, when they fail to uphold their responsibility. Staff misconduct, at any level, will not be tolerated, and our efforts to root it out are far from over.”
Northern District of California U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds argued, “As this case makes clear, the Department of Justice is committed to holding BOP personnel accountable, including through criminal charges, when they fail to uphold their responsibility. Staff misconduct, at any level, will not be tolerated, and our efforts to root it out are far from over.”
Hinds added, “Correctional officers have a trusted responsibility to protect those under their authority…Sexually abusing inmates is a betrayal of that responsibility and undermines a just penal system. My office is committed to pursuing charges against anyone – including federal employees – who abuse the public’s trust in violation of federal law.”
Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair of the FBI said, “Holding a position of power comes with great responsibility. Chavez made a decision to abuse his authority and victimize inmates he was responsible for overseeing.”
Fair added, “Let this send a clear message that the FBI will investigate and hold accountable any and every individual who commits an act like this, regardless of your title or authority.”
Department of Justice Office Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz noted, “Inmates should never experience sexual abuse at the hands of the Bureau of Prisons employees, yet five BOP employees have recently been charged with such abuse of inmates at FCI Dublin.
“The safety, security, and integrity of federal prisons are of the utmost importance, and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General will continue to aggressively pursue allegations of abuse at FCI Dublin and across the BOP.”