OAKLAND – Enrique Chavez pleaded guilty in federal court today to abusive sexual contact with a female prison inmate while he was employed as a correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Institute Dublin (FCI Dublin) in Alameda County.
“Correctional institutions play a vital role in securing the safety and welfare of our communities, and its officers must ensure the same for prisoners under their custody and control,” said United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds. “Correctional officers are trained and required to act with integrity and professionalism towards the prisoners they supervise. Any officer who breaches those responsibilities and violates the law in doing so should expect a federal criminal investigation and prosecution to follow.”
“The public trusts correctional officers to act with integrity, but instead, Chavez used his position of power to sexually abuse an inmate under his supervision. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of abuse, including sexual abuse, across the BOP,” said Zachary Shroyer, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Los Angeles Field Office.
“Employees of federal prisons who abuse their authority are not above the law,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. “The FBI and our partners will continue to identify correctional officers like Chavez who violated federal law and hold them accountable.”
According to the plea agreement he entered today, Chavez, 50, formerly of Manteca, California, was employed in October 2020 as a correctional officer at FCI Dublin. FCI Dublin is a correctional institution operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that houses female prisoners. A female prisoner identified only as Victim 1 in the plea agreement was in detention at FCI Dublin. Victim 1 was under Chavez’s supervision and disciplinary authority at the time.
Chavez admitted today in his plea agreement that during October 2020 he met Victim 1 in the food service pantry at FCI Dublin. After they met in the pantry, Chavez locked the door. The lights were turned off. Chavez admitted to putting his hand inside Victim 1’s underwear and touching her genitals. Chavez also admitted to touching the victim’s breasts.
Chavez pleaded guilty today to one count of abusive sexual contact with a prisoner in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2244(a)(4). The count carries a maximum statutory sentence of two years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, with a minimum period of supervision following release from prison of five years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervision. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers set a sentencing hearing for Chavez on February 2, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. Chavez remains out of custody on bond while awaiting his sentencing hearing.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds, DOJ Office of the Inspector General Los Angeles Field Office Special Agent in Charge Zachary Shroyer, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Paulson, Mohit Gourisaria, and Molly K. Priedeman are prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Kay Konopaske and Leeya Kekona. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DOJ Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.