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Press Release

Third Former Correctional Officer Charged in Cover-Up at CSP-Sacramento Arrested and Five Count Indictment Unsealed

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

Sacramento, Calif. — A third former CSP-Sacramento California state correctional officer was arrested and made her initial appearance today in connection with false statements regarding civil rights violations. A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a five-count indictment as to Brenda Villa, 32, of North Highlands, charging her with Conspiracy, three counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation, and perjury, United States Attorney Phillip A Talbert announced. 

According to the Indictment, Villa was a correctional sergeant supervising other officers at California State Prison – Sacramento when correctional officer Arturo Pacheco unlawfully assaulted an inmate under color of law. Villa and other officers, including Pacheco and Ashley Aurich, assisted in covering up the details of the assault by submitting false reports. Villa also lied under oath to the federal grand jury investigating the incident.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with Assistance from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Rosanne L. Rust are prosecuting the case.

Arturo Pacheco and Ashley Aurich have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to over 12½ years and 21 months in federal prison, respectively.

If convicted, Villa faces a maximum statutory penalty of 5 years in prison for conspiracy, 20 years on each count of falsification of records, 5 years for perjury and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 27, 2022