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Former Dublin women's prison warden convicted of sex-related crimes

'Today's guilty verdict is one important step in our ongoing efforts to root out sexual misconduct within the Bureau of Prisons'

The former warden of a women's prison in Dublin was convicted Thursday of crimes involving sexually abusive conduct against three inmates and of lying to federal agents, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

U.S. DOJ seal.

Ray Garcia, 55, of Merced, was convicted of sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with one victim and abusive sexual contact with two others over the period of December 2019 to July 2021.

Garcia was also convicted of making false statements to government agents on July 22, 2021, according to prosecutors.

"Today's guilty verdict is one important step in our ongoing efforts to root out sexual misconduct within the Bureau of Prisons," U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement. "It also delivers justice to the victims in this case."

Monaco said the victims were abused repeatedly and subjected to Garcia's "gross exploitation of power."

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Garcia was responsible for ensuring the care and welfare of the people incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institute Dublin, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds said.

Garcia was also responsible for demonstrating to employees that illegal and unethical behavior by prison officials "would not be tolerated," Hinds said.

Instead, Garcia used his power "to prey sexually upon female inmates under his control," Hinds said.

Garcia "repeatedly lied to try to cover up his crimes, and fostered a culture of abuse at FCI Dublin," Michael Horowitz, inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement.

Initially, Garcia was charged on Sept. 24, 2021, with sexual abuse of an inmate. But a federal grand jury on Aug. 23, 2022, issued a superseding indictment charging the former warden with three counts of sexual abuse and four counts of abusive sexual contact.

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The same indictment included lying to government agents while the criminal investigation was ongoing.

The three counts of sexual abuse and one count of sexually abusive contact occurred against the inmate identified as victim one, prosecutors said. The crimes occurred between December 2019 and March 2020.

Prosecutors said Garcia committed the abuse and/or abusive contact in the area of the prison visitation room, which includes a bathroom and inmate changing stall.

Against victim two, Garcia was convicted of two counts of abusive sexual contact. The acts occurred in a prison warehouse and in the victim's cell between January and July 2021, prosecutors said. Both areas were generally out of the view of others, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Abusive sexual contact with victim three occurred between March and September 2020 in the prison's electrical shop, prosecutors said.

On the day Garcia lied to government agents, Garcia told the agents that he never touched an inmate sexually and never asked inmates to undress for him. Trial evidence showed otherwise, prosecutors said.

Before becoming warden at FCI Dublin, Garcia was an associate warden of the all-female, low security prison.

As of October, three other correctional officers at FCI Dublin had either been arrested, indicted or charged with offenses of a sexual nature against inmates at the prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Also, James Theodore Highhouse, former chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, pleaded guilty in February to five felonies for abusing an inmate sexually at FCI Dublin and then lying to federal agents.

Garcia could be sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for the crimes.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Rogers set Garcia's sentencing date for March 8. Garcia remains free until his sentencing, prosecutors said.

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Former Dublin women's prison warden convicted of sex-related crimes

'Today's guilty verdict is one important step in our ongoing efforts to root out sexual misconduct within the Bureau of Prisons'

by Keith Burbank / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 8, 2022, 6:33 pm

The former warden of a women's prison in Dublin was convicted Thursday of crimes involving sexually abusive conduct against three inmates and of lying to federal agents, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Ray Garcia, 55, of Merced, was convicted of sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with one victim and abusive sexual contact with two others over the period of December 2019 to July 2021.

Garcia was also convicted of making false statements to government agents on July 22, 2021, according to prosecutors.

"Today's guilty verdict is one important step in our ongoing efforts to root out sexual misconduct within the Bureau of Prisons," U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a statement. "It also delivers justice to the victims in this case."

Monaco said the victims were abused repeatedly and subjected to Garcia's "gross exploitation of power."

Garcia was responsible for ensuring the care and welfare of the people incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institute Dublin, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds said.

Garcia was also responsible for demonstrating to employees that illegal and unethical behavior by prison officials "would not be tolerated," Hinds said.

Instead, Garcia used his power "to prey sexually upon female inmates under his control," Hinds said.

Garcia "repeatedly lied to try to cover up his crimes, and fostered a culture of abuse at FCI Dublin," Michael Horowitz, inspector general for the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement.

Initially, Garcia was charged on Sept. 24, 2021, with sexual abuse of an inmate. But a federal grand jury on Aug. 23, 2022, issued a superseding indictment charging the former warden with three counts of sexual abuse and four counts of abusive sexual contact.

The same indictment included lying to government agents while the criminal investigation was ongoing.

The three counts of sexual abuse and one count of sexually abusive contact occurred against the inmate identified as victim one, prosecutors said. The crimes occurred between December 2019 and March 2020.

Prosecutors said Garcia committed the abuse and/or abusive contact in the area of the prison visitation room, which includes a bathroom and inmate changing stall.

Against victim two, Garcia was convicted of two counts of abusive sexual contact. The acts occurred in a prison warehouse and in the victim's cell between January and July 2021, prosecutors said. Both areas were generally out of the view of others, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Abusive sexual contact with victim three occurred between March and September 2020 in the prison's electrical shop, prosecutors said.

On the day Garcia lied to government agents, Garcia told the agents that he never touched an inmate sexually and never asked inmates to undress for him. Trial evidence showed otherwise, prosecutors said.

Before becoming warden at FCI Dublin, Garcia was an associate warden of the all-female, low security prison.

As of October, three other correctional officers at FCI Dublin had either been arrested, indicted or charged with offenses of a sexual nature against inmates at the prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Also, James Theodore Highhouse, former chaplain with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, pleaded guilty in February to five felonies for abusing an inmate sexually at FCI Dublin and then lying to federal agents.

Garcia could be sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for the crimes.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Rogers set Garcia's sentencing date for March 8. Garcia remains free until his sentencing, prosecutors said.

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