Civil Rights

Seventh FCI Dublin Officer Sentenced for Sexual Assault

April 1, 2024
Prison barbed wire

Table Of Contents

Naomi Smith

On Wednesday, former FCI Dublin Correctional Officer Nakie Nunley was sentenced to 72 months in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of sexual abuse of a ward, five counts of abusive sexual contact, and one count of making false statements to federal agents. Nunley is the seventh correctional officer to be sentenced for sexual abuse of female prisoners at FCI Dublin.

Attorney Jaehyun Oh and Paralegal Naomi Smith were both present on Wednesday, and during the hearing, eight of our clients courageously delivered their Victim Impact Statements to Judge Gonzalez Rogers. Jaehyun Oh is currently representing dozens of women who were victims of correctional officer sexual assault at FCI Dublin and has been involved in multiple national prison reform efforts to protect, advocate for, and stand with victims of prison sexual assault.

Following the sentencing hearing, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco affirmed the Justice Department’s commitment to holding correctional officers accountable: “As today’s sentence shows, the Justice Department will hold accountable officials who abused their authority to harm those they are sworn to protect.”

Personal Testimonies Provide Insight to Prison Sexual Abuse

“For many of our clients, this was the first time they faced Nunley since his removal from FCI Dublin and was a chance for them to take their power back. I am in awe of all the women who courageously faced their abuser to give their statements and hope doing so will have helped them heal and move forward.” – Naomi Smith
“One of the most common tactics that prison sexual abusers use is to tell their victims that they won’t be believed, that they are criminals, that they are worthless. The sentencing hearing flips that narrative on its head, and shows the victims the value and power of their words against the abusers.” – Jaehyun Oh

Judge Gonzalez Rogers described the “wake of destruction” that Nunley left behind, which accurately described the residual trauma that many of our clients have felt following Nunley’s extreme abuse of power.

Just prior to handing down her sentence, Judge Gonzalez Rogers acknowledged the fact that while Nunley had obtained counseling related to the horrific acts he perpetuated against many women; many of his victims in BOP custody and victims of other staff who had previously been convicted, STILL are not receiving proper psychological care at FCI Dublin. In addition to dozens of civil damages cases brought by the victims, Judge Gonzalez Rogers is also presiding over a class action brought on behalf of FCI Dublin prisoners to implement systemic changes across the facility.

Nakie Nunley’s Abuse of Power

Judge Gonzalez Rogers sentenced Nunley to 72 months in prison, which was highest sentence allowed under the guidelines. The sentence came less than two weeks after Judge Gonzalez Rogers’s historic order to appoint a special master to oversee FCI Dublin due to its failure to properly investigate allegations of sexual assault and retaliation.

Nunley was assigned to supervise UNICOR (phone center), which had been touted as one of the best employment programs for inmates due to its higher pay compared to other prison jobs and the ability to learn skills which are transferrable to outside jobs once released. Instead of helping the women develop skills that would help them become successful members of society, Nunley took advantage of his position and targeted vulnerable women who were under his direct supervision. During the hearing, many of his victims revealed that they attempted to report him and that multiple officers were aware of his behavior, but no one took action to prevent his abuse.

Nunley used explicit threats of transfer or termination to pressure his victims into performing sexual acts with him, a threat that would have further separated these women from their families and loved ones. Losing employment in prison also means losing good time credit and possibility of earlier release. Nunley ruthlessly used the tools in his arsenal as a correctional officer to violate numerous women. Allegations against Nunley ranged from inappropriate touching and groping on daily basis, to digital penetration, forced oral sex, and vaginal rape. He also forced some women to engage in sexual acts with one another in his presence, exacerbating their trauma.

Nakie Nunley entered a pre-indictment plea agreement in July of 2023, which is rare. He pled guilty to engaging in sexual acts with five women between March 2020 and November 2021, and he also admitted to sexually abusing two additional women who worked at UNICOR. At the sentencing, he attempted to use this fact as a basis to show his remorse. Judge Gonzalez Rogers remained appalled nonetheless at his criminal conduct and the victims’ trauma.

Nunley is the seventh former FCI Dublin officer to be sentenced, with a total of eight officers having been charged with sexual abuse or abusive sexual contact of a ward. However, upon information and belief, there are far more officers who are yet to be criminally charged. Nunley’s sentence shows that Judge Gonzalez Rogers will continue to impose punishment that accounts for the number of victims and the severity of sexual abuse. Nunley’s sentence was the second longest that Judge Gonzalez Rogers has ordered thus far in FCI Dublin cases.

Prison Sex Abuse Attorney

Unfortunately, many federal prisons have a similar history of systematic failures, which have put women at risk of sexual assault. Incarcerated women are especially vulnerable to staff sexual abuse because prison staff maintain substantial control over prisoners’ daily lives.

There is no justification for sexual abuse of an inmate, and the federal government must be held accountable for being complicit in and perpetuating abuse.

At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, our Civil Rights Team approaches every topic with the utmost care and compassion, and our team is dedicated to ensuring that our clients receive justice and compensation for the trauma that they had to endure.

If you or a loved one have experienced sexual assault while incarcerated, speak with a prison abuse lawyer today. Attorneys at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm, led by Jaehyun Oh, understand how to handle each case in a way that feels comfortable and vindicating to each client.

We can help when the unimaginable happens.