Prosecutors announced on Wednesday that a former correctional officer at the largest women’s jail in California had been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting at least 13 inmates over the past nine years.
According to a news release from the Madera County District Attorney’s Office, Gregory Rodriguez, a former employee of the Central California Women’s Facility, is being charged with 96 counts, including rape, sodomy, sexual battery, and rape under color of authority.
The DA’s office reported that he was being detained in lieu of $7.8 million bail.
Prosecutors claimed that although most of the alleged attacks may have occurred as recently as 2014, some incidents occurred.
According to the DA’s office, 13 different victims are named in the charges. Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of more than 300 years in jail, if found guilty on all counts.
In December, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation released a statement that said Rodriguez retired in August after he was questioned about the assaults as part of an internal inquiry.
The district attorney’s office received the results of the investigation, which indicated that Rodriguez may have had inappropriate sexual contact with at least 22 prisoners earlier this year.
“These allegations are in no way a reflection on the vast majority of correctional officers who act professionally and do their best to make sure prisoners serve their time while remaining safe,” the DA’s office said. “It is our hope that the removal and arrest of this defendant encourages them to continue in their honorable profession upholding the law every day.”
Rodriguez is being charged with sexual assault at the facility, which has around 2,100 inmates, according to two unnamed inmates who filed lawsuits in December.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 established a “zero-tolerance” stance for the sexual assault of prisoners.