Former Corrections Officer Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault
A former corrections officer who was charged with sexually abusing two inmates and attempting to abuse a third at the Victorville Federal Correction Complex has been sentenced to two years in prison.
In October, 41-year-old Apolonio Gamez pleaded guilty to two felony counts of sexual abuse of a ward and one felony count of attempted sexual abuse of a ward.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California says that Gamez participated in sexual activity with an inmate twice while he was on duty at the Federal Correctional Complex during fall 2016. Gamez began working at that facility the same year and had been employed by several other California prisons since 2012.
Authorities say that in May 2016, Gamez caught another inmate stealing food and ordered her to engage in sexual activity with him, threatening to send her to solitary confinement if she refused.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, Gamez exposed himself to a third inmate and attempted to sexually abuse her in the summer of 2017.
Along with his prison sentence, Gamez must be under supervision for seven years after his release, pay a $5,000 special assessment, and register as a sex offender.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Assault by Prison Staff
After spending many years as a sex crimes prosecutor, attorney Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com now represents survivors of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked him to share some insight regarding the legal options available for survivors of sexual assault by correctional officers and other jail and prison staff members:
Inmates may lose some of the rights they had as citizens while they’re incarcerated, but they still have the right to be safe from sexual violence. Sadly, our correctional facilities are too often the site of sexual assaults, including many cases where the perpetrator is a correctional officer, guard, or another employee of the facility. When a prison employee sexually assaults inmates, the survivors of these assaults may be able to find justice through the legal system.
Prison employees are in positions of authority over their prisoners. This means that any sexual activity between employees and guards may be considered illegal and, in many cases, sexual assault. The victims of these crimes often have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility where the assaults occurred.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual assault by a prison employee, our sexual assault survivors lawyers want to help you exercise your legal rights and fight for justice. You can learn more about your legal options by contacting us for a free consultation.