The former warden of an abuse-plagued federal women’s prison known as the “rape club” went on trial Monday, accused of molesting inmates and forcing them to pose naked in their cells.
Ray J. _____, who retired after the FBI found nude photos of inmates on his government-issued phone last year, is among five workers charged with abusing inmates at the federal correctional institution in Dublin, California, and the first to go to trial.
Opening statements kicked off Monday in federal court in Oakland, with prosecutors spelling out evidence they said would show _____’s abuse of several inmates followed a pattern, starting with compliments, flattery and promises of transfers to lower security prisons and escalated to sexual encounters. _____, 55, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he would face up to 15 years in prison.
An Associated Press investigation in February revealed a culture of abuse and cover-up that had persisted for years at the prison, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) east of Oakland. That reporting led to increased scrutiny from Congress and pledges from the federal Bureau of Prisons that it would fix problems and change the culture at the prison.