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  • Writer's pictureRobin Lyons

Club Fed

Have you heard of the all-womens' prison in California dubbed “Club Fed?” If not, perhaps you recall the two female actors who went to prison because of the college enrollment scandal a few years back? They went to Club Fed.

Not just the rich and famous criminals serve time at Club Fed, a low security federal prison.

It’s a sad day when the public employees in supervisory positions at prisons become the prisoners. These true crimes are about more than one person, all worked at Club Fed. Several employees crossed the line at this correctional facility.

Let’s start at the top of the chain of command and work our way down.

The former warden had a few favorite inmates. He personally checked on them, and when he did, he told the cell mates to leave. He’d routinely demanded inmates to strip for him, and then he took photos of them. As leverage, he’d promise to sign compassionate release paperwork (request for a reduction in sentence).

Whatever your definition is of inappropriate touching and sexual abuse, it would apply in this case.

When questioned by the FBI, the former warden maintained his innocence and told them nobody at the prison touches the inmates inappropriately. This case may have turned into a ‘he said—she said.’ Of course, he claimed to be innocent. Then they found forensic evidence on his prison cell phone, his personal cell phone, and his personal computer. Photos I’m sure many jurors would like to unsee.

A jury convicted the 55-year-old former warden of sexually abusive conduct against three female inmates. A judge sentenced him to almost six years in prison, 15 years of supervised release and pay $15,000 in restitution.

A U.S. Attorney associated with the case said,

“The evidence in this case paints a disturbing picture of a former warden who abused the trust placed in him, as well as authority granted to him.”

A former Chaplin at Club Fed taught religious based classes about boundaries and self-worth, led religious services, and offered spiritual guidance. The Chaplin, a former Army Chaplin, also had the authority to write up incidents reports and refer inmates for disciplinary action.

The FBI investigation uncovered the Chaplin regularly met with a particular inmate in the privacy of his office to have sex. He’d manipulate the inmate by using Biblical parables to justify their sex acts and warned his victim that nobody would believe her over him.

Rather than go to trial, the former Chaplin pleaded guilty to five felonies of sexual abuse against an incarcerated female. A judge sentenced the 50-year-old man to seven years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

A Deputy Attorney associate with this case said,

“Within our corrections system, chaplains are supposed to provide hope and spiritual guidance. Instead, this chaplain abused his authority and betrayed the public trust.”

A Correctional Officer, who also worked as a cook where he supervised female inmate workers at Club Fed. He used his position to sexually abuse a female inmate that he supervised in the kitchen. He’d meet her in the pantry to have sex.

The 50-year-old former correctional officer pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact with a female prison inmate. A judge sentenced him to 20 months in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release. #sexcrimes #abuseofpower

Another Correctional Officer, who also held the title of Safety Manager, opted for a trial. His circumstances went beyond purely motivated by sex—supposedly, love was in the air. They found many love letters to him from inmates. The jury found him guilty of five counts of sexually abusing two female inmates. Presented at trial was evidence that the Safety Manager used the Safety Warehouse and Safety Office to have sex with the female inmates.

His sentencing date is in late August. I’ll do an update then. The FBI investigation at Club Fed is ongoing.

A Deputy Attorney associate with this case said,

“The defendant committed an egregious breach of trust by using the cover of the BOP facility’s Safety Office to sexually abuse individuals in his custody.”

Source: U.S. District Court, U.S. Department of Justice, ArmyTimes, Law & Crime

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