A former federal prison guard was sentenced to 8 years in prison in a sexual assault scandal
A former guard at a federal prison where a US official said there was a “culture of sexual assault against female prisoners” was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday, federal prosecutors said.
The U.S. District Attorney’s Office said Andrew Jones, 36, of Clovis, sexually assaulted several female inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, California, known as FCI Dublin.
Eight correctional officers from the facility have been charged. Four of them, including Jones, were sentenced. Former warden He was sentenced He was imprisoned for more than five years in March.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a statement that Jones’ sentence was the longest to date.
“Jones was involved in a culture of sexual abuse of female prisoners at FCI Dublin which included the warden, The priestand other employees, and he, like them, has been held accountable for his heinous actions,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz said He said in a statement.
Jones pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three inmates. He pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual assault of an inmate and one count of making false statements to investigators, the district attorney’s office said.
Officials said the abuse occurred between July 2020 and June 2021, when Jones was a guard supervising inmates in the prison’s food services section.
Jones’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.
Defense lawyers argued in court documents that Jones, a former Army correctional officer at Guantanamo Bay, was personally traumatized and developed a “severe alcohol dependence,” but committed these violations for only one year out of eight at FCI in Dublin.
“This is not a case of a long-time sex offender. We are here because over the course of one year, Mr. Jones lost his way, behaved horribly, and committed actions that he will regret for the rest of his life,” his attorneys wrote.
Prosecutors said Jones threatened the women with violence, groomed them for sexual assault, and used the authority granted him by the federal government to intimidate and abuse them.
“The horrific sexual assault that occurred at FCI in Dublin was disgraceful and tragic, and the Department of Justice will not rest until we eliminate this misconduct from the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” Deputy U.S. Attorney Lisa Monaco said in a statement.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com