FCI Dublin Prison Sexual Assault Lawyers
Sexual abuse committed by prison staff against inmates is unethical and creates a violent and dangerous environment for inmates.
The Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin (FCI Dublin) staff are currently being investigated for perpetuating sexual abuse and misconduct against inmates, and those responsible for inflicting the abuse must be held accountable.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse, assault, or threats of retaliation while incarcerated at FCI Dublin, we can help.
Call 212.869.3500 or contact us online to speak with an experienced prisoner sexual assault attorney at our firm today for a free initial consultation.
Justice for victims of sexual assault at FCI Dublin
Sexual abuse in prisons is prevalent across the United States, and institutional failures often prevent the perpetrators of abuse from being held accountable.
Incarcerated women are especially vulnerable to abuse from male correctional staff, including sexual assault, rape, manipulation, and threats of physical violence.
In the United States, it is illegal for a prison guard, correctional officer, warden, or prison staff member to have any form of sexual contact with a prisoner.
Prison staff maintain substantial control over inmates’ daily lives so it is impossible to create an environment where an inmate has autonomy to give or revoke their consent in a meaningful way.
The Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin, commonly referred to as FCI Dublin, is one of six women-only federal prisons and is currently being investigated for allowing sexual contact between numerous inmates and correctional staff.
At FCI Dublin, women are coming forward to report sexual assault and threats of retaliation from staff members, who have fostered a violent environment and made it impossible for incarcerated women to seek physical or mental assistance.
Federal prison facilities must be held accountable for their role in allowing sexual abuse.
Not only does this imbalance of power represent a human rights violation, but the presence of sexual abuse in correctional facilities also contributes to long-lasting physical consequences and devastating mental health challenges including depression, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
At FCI Dublin, survivors of sexual assault were often isolated and were subjected to intimidation tactics or threats of retaliation to discourage them from reporting abuse.
Even when abuse was reported, correctional officers did not perform proper investigations.
As a result, rampant and pervasive sexual abuse occurred throughout the facility. In a recent Congressional Hearing regarding staff-on-inmate sexual abuse, the director of Bureau of Prisons was questioned by Senator Ossoff who referred to FCI Dublin as the “rape club.”
Survivors of sexual assault may be confused, feel at fault, or even threatened by their abuser.
Our experienced prison sexual assault lawyers understand these issues and can help the survivors process their trauma and seek justice and accountability.
Your story matters.
At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm we can help you take legal action against the prison staff who were responsible for and complicit in causing your abuse.
Prison sexual assault attorneys at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm are familiar with sexual assaults and abuse that occurred at FCI Dublin.
With over 40 years of representing inmates who have experienced rape, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of abuse, we will ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Let your voice be heard. Speak with a FCI Dublin prisoner abuse attorney at our firm for a free and confidential consultation.
With a history of client success, including obtaining the largest publicly available settlement against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, attorneys at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm will ensure that you get the representation you deserve.
We can help when the unimaginable happens.
Institutional failures & culture of abuse at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin
Institutional failures at FCI Dublin have created a culture of abuse among correctional staff that condoned and emboldened staff to sexually assault inmates.
Staff who were responsible for reporting sexual abuse were often abusing inmates themselves, making it impossible for incarcerated women to receive support.
The Federal prison system is under scrutiny by the Department of Justice and Congress for enabling gross misconduct. Sexual assault at FCI Dublin is reflective of systematic failures from the Federal Bureau of Prisons that put inmates, especially women, in danger.
As of July 2022, at least 5 correctional officers at FCI Dublin have been charged with sexual abuse of a ward or abusive sexual contact between 2018 and 2020:
Ray J. Garcia
- Ray J. Garcia was the associate warden of the facility in 2019 and 2020 while he engaged in sexual contact with multiple inmates. Garcia was the chair of Prison Rape Elimination Act and was responsible for training new supervisors regarding the prison’s sexual assault policies.
- Garcia was associate warden while three other correctional officers were engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships with inmates while under his supervision.
- Garcia is currently the highest-ranking federal official arrested in more than 10 years.
- Ross Klinger was a correctional officer at FCI Dublin and sexually abused at least two inmates while under Garcia’s supervision in 2020.
John Russel Bellhouse
- John Russell Bellhouse was Klinger’s supervisor on the Safter & Recycling crew at FCI Dublin and sexually abused an inmate while under Garcia’s supervision in 2020.
- Enrique Chavez was a correctional officer at FCI Dublin while he engaged in abusive sexual contact with an inmate under Garcia’s supervision in 2020.
- James Highhouse, a chaplain at FCI Dublin, has been charged with sexual abuse of an inmate, abusive sexual contact, and of making false statements while working at FCI Dublin in 2018 and 2019.
At FCI Dublin, Ray Garcia, the associate warden, was responsible for conducting PREA investigations and leading PREA training for new staff. Evidently, Garcia neglected his responsibilities, which fostered a culture of abuse.
25 additional employees are currently under investigation for inappropriate relationships, abusive sexual contact, PREA violations, exchanging contraband with inmates, falsification of employment records, and other prohibited conduct as of July 2022.
Officers at FCI Dublin frequently resorted to intimidation tactics and threats of retaliation to deter victims of sexual assault from reporting their abuse:
- Officers told inmates they were “close friends” with the investigators
- Officers threatened to send inmates to the Special Housing Unit
- Officers threatened to delay release dates
- Officers threatened physical violence and death
- Officers abused health records to manipulate inmates
Exercising dominion over the victims’ daily lives, the officers abused their power to manipulate, coerce, threaten, and assault inmates. Some officers provided contraband and money in exchange for sexual acts.
Additionally, inmates have reported being deployed as a “look out,” while correctional officers were engaging in sexual misconduct with another inmate.
Female inmates also report having been placed in SHU (solitary confinement) without proper process, as a means of retaliation, threat, or further abuse.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm has a specialized team of attorneys who are familiar with the sexual assaults at federal jails and have represented several survivors.
Types of abuse reported at FCI Dublin
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a strict federal regulation that mandates a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual assault for both staff-on-inmate and inmate-on-inmate misconduct.
PREA guidelines require the development of standards for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of rape and standardized collection and dissemination of information regarding prison rape.
Harassment & prohibited relationships
PREA regulations prohibit staff from maintaining inappropriate relationships with inmates or former inmates including emotional, physical, sexual, material, or financial relationships. Showing favoritism or giving preferential treatment to inmates is also prohibited.
Despite the apparently strict guidelines, inmates at FCI Dublin were coerced into performing sexual acts by correctional staff and/or entering into sexual relationships with them.
Officers provided contraband to inmates in exchange for sexual acts including:
- Money or food
- Personal phones and contraband
- Gifts and jewelry
Officers also participated in inappropriate emotional relationships with inmates including by:
- Flirting and giving sexual compliments
- Asking personal and sexual questions
- Referring to inmates as their girlfriend and promising marriage
- Building relationships with inmates’ family including their children
- Exchanging or taking nude photos of inmates
Officers also harassed and physically abused inmates through the following behaviors:
- Repeated unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
- Making verbal comments, gestures, or actions of derogatory or offensive sexual nature, including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, obscene language or gestures
- Failing to report suspicions of sexual assault by others, thus violating PREA protocol
Any sexual act between an inmate and FCI Dublin correctional staff are considered a criminal offense, even if it would be considered consensual outside of prison.
Correctional officers maintain disciplinary authority over prison inmates and can abuse that position to manipulate coerce inmates into performing sexual acts. Thus, sexual acts between an inmate and correctional staff are prohibited by both federal and state laws across the country.
The most recent PREA report indicates that as of 2018, inmates reported 27,826 allegations of sexual victimization, which is a 15% increase from 2015. Of the 27,826 reported allegations, 55% were perpetrated by prison staff.
Sexual abuse of an inmate by prison staff member, prison guard, contractor, or volunteer includes any of the following acts, with or without consent of the inmate:
- Intentional touching (either directly through the clothing), of specific areas of the body, including touching or fondling of genital, anal, or other intimate areas (anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks) where the staff member has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;
- Forced sex acts, including oral contact with the anus, oral sex, anal sex, or penetration of a genital opening or anus with an object or any party part that is not penis/vagina contact
- Any attempt, threat, or request by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer to engage in the activities listed above
- Any display by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer of his or her uncovered genitalia, buttock, or breast in the presence of an inmate, and;
- Voyeurism, meaning an invasion of privacy of an inmate by staff for reasons unrelated to official duties, such as peering at an inmate in his or her cell to perform bodily function; requiring an inmate to expose his or her buttocks, genitals, or breasts; or taking images of all or part of an inmate’s naked body or of an inmate performing bodily functions
Sexual relations between facility staff and an incarcerated person, including sexual contact, vaginal intercourse, or sexual acts are strictly prohibited. Prisons are responsible for creating a safe environment for inmates, and when they fail to do so, inmates are put at substantial risk.
Reporting sexual abuse at FCI Dublin
Claims related to sexual misconduct can be filed by third parties on behalf of inmates as well as by inmates themselves.
After an assault, survivors are often threatened with retaliation or punishment because complaints are ignored or handled improperly by prison officials and the justice system.
Many victims carry self-doubt, hopelessness, shame, or guilt and can believe that they are at fault for “allowing” the assault to happen.
Assault is never your fault. As an inmate, you have constitutional rights that prohibit harassment and abuse.
While many allegations are dismissed as unsubstantiated and only result in minor penalties or administrative (rather than criminal) action, having an attorney on your side can help to ensure that your voice is heard and justice is delivered.
If you or another inmate are a survivor of sexual abuse from prison staff, our prisoner abuse attorneys can provide a discrete, confidential evaluation of your claim, and will aggressively fight to hold those accountable for their actions.
For more information on how to report allegations of inmate sexual abuse, please contact us at (212) 869-3500.
Current status of the FCI Dublin investigation
FCI Dublin is currently being investigated by the FBI for failing to prevent rampant sexual abuse at the facility. Authorities have arrested several correctional officers this year, and many other correctional officers are currently under investigation.
The Department of Justice is also completing an investigation about nation-wide failures that have enabled abuse across prisons in the United States.
FCI Dublin, which is commonly referred to as “the rape club” among correctional staff, inmates, and in investigative reports, has been mentioned numerous times during congressional hearings and congressional reports for their substantial failure to report sexual abuse.
Although coming forward to speak out about your abuse may feel impossible and challenging, it is important to remember that you are not alone.
Women have come forward with reports of sexual assault at FCI Dublin, and with the help of an experienced sexual assault attorney, we will get you the representation you deserve.
Regardless of whether you are still incarcerated, and regardless of which correctional facility you are presently located at, our attorneys can help develop legal strategies to hold the abusers and their accomplices accountable.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm currently represents victims of sexual assault at FCI Dublin, and our skilled team of sexual assault attorneys are well versed with the horrific assaults that took place at this prison.
Let our family help yours.
Recent client success for inmate sexual assault lawsuits
Our attorneys can’t change what has already happened, but we can help support you so you can move forward as a survivor.
In June of 2022, attorneys Jaehyun Oh and Bradley Zimmerman obtained the largest publicly available settlement against the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the nation on behalf of three inmates who were sexually assaulted at the now-closed Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
The three women survivors felt so scared, ashamed, and helpless that they didn’t disclose their sexual assaults, even to each other, for fear of retaliation or punishment to the inmates, such as depriving them of basic human needs if they didn’t comply with the officer’s ‘requests’ and advances.
“He would take away their privileges; he would change their cell assignments, basically flaunting his power and telling them that he’s close with the warden, nothing will ever come out of it [...] This can only be allowed to go on for so long and so frequently in that kind of controlled environment by the complicity of other people,” Jaehyun Oh, featured in the New York Times
Our attorneys are experienced in representing survivors of sexual assault and pursuing claims against not only the abuser but also the various officers–and the system at large–who perpetuated the abuse.
The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm has a dedicated team of attorneys, paralegals, and experts that will give the utmost attention to your case. With a team of attorneys already representing inmates at FCI Dublin, we will help you get the best possible outcome for your claim.
We can help when the unimaginable happens.
Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.