RIVERSIDE, California – A former correctional officer at the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for sexually abusing several female inmates while on duty.
Apolonio Gamez, 41, of Lake Elsinore, was sentenced late Monday by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal. In addition to the prison term, Judge Bernal ordered that Gamez would be on supervised release for seven years after he is released from prison. Gamez was also ordered to pay a $5,000 special assessment and to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.
Gamez pleaded guilty in October to three felony charges: two counts of sexual abuse of a ward and one count of attempted sexual abuse of a ward.
According to Gamez’s plea agreement, he engaged in sexual activity with the inmates between September 2016 and July 2017 while he was on duty as a correctional officer and employed by the United States Bureau of Prisons.
On two occasions in the autumn of 2016, Gamez engaged in sexual activity with one inmate while he was on duty.
In May 2017, Gamez caught another inmate stealing food, threatened to send her to the “hole” (a reference to the prison’s special housing unit), and then directed her to engage in sexual activity with him, his plea agreement states. Gamez’s victim did not resist because “she felt frozen and powerless with fear,” according to court documents.
Gamez also admitted to exposing himself to a third inmate and attempted to engage in sexual activity with her during the summer of 2017.