Oakland, California - Ray J. Garcia has been charged in a criminal complaint with sexual abuse of a ward, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds; Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Los Angeles Field Office Special Agent in Charge Zachary Shroyer; and FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair.
According to the complaint filed September 24, 2021, and unsealed today, Garcia, 54, of Merced, California, is the warden of Bureau of Prison Federal Correctional Institute Dublin (FCI Dublin), an all-female low security federal correctional institution. At the time of the offense, he was the associate warden at FCI Dublin. As an associate warden and warden, Garcia had disciplinary authority over inmates incarcerated at FCI Dublin. He received training regarding inappropriate relationships with inmates, including the fact that sexual or financial involvement were prohibited. In addition, in 2019 and 2020 Garcia directed training on the Prison Rape Elimination Act (“PREA”), and trained new supervisors on PREA procedures and policies.
According to the complaint, Garcia knowingly had sexual contact with at least one inmate victim while she was incarcerated at FCI Dublin and was under his custodial, supervisory, or disciplinary authority. In particular, the complaint alleges that Garcia digitally penetrated the victim on multiple occasions. The complaint describes an occasion during which Garcia assaulted a victim and when the victim pushed Garcia’s hand away, Garcia put the victim’s hand on his genitals. Further, the complaint alleges that Garcia requested that the victim, and at least one other inmate, strip naked for him when he did his rounds at FCI Dublin. Garcia allegedly took photographs of the victim naked in a cell at FCI Dublin and also showed the victim pictures on his cellphone of his own genitalia. The complaint alleges Garcia maintained several nude photographs of the victim on his personal computer.
The complaint further alleges that Garcia took actions to deter the victim from coming forward. As detailed in the complaint, Garcia told the victim that he was “close friends” with the individual responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by inmates and told the victim that he could not be fired. In addition, law enforcement located hundreds of sexually graphic photographs—including photographs of male and female genitalia and nude photographs of Garcia—on Garcia’s work cellphone issued by BOP.
As stated in the complaint, Garcia was placed on administrative leave in July 2021 in connection with the investigation.
Garcia is charged with one count of sexual abuse of a ward, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2243(b). He made an initial federal court appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathaneal Cousins. Garcia’s next federal court appearance is scheduled for November 12, 2021, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore for a status conference.
The charges contained in the criminal complaint are mere allegations. As in any criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted of the charge, Garcia faces a maximum statutory sentence of 15 years imprisonment, a three-year term of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly K. Priedeman is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Leeya Kekona. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the DOJ OIG and the FBI.