RIVERSIDE, California – A correctional officer employed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) at the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing two female inmates, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Apolonio Gamez, 40, of Lake Elsinore, was arrested Thursday afternoon and is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Riverside.
Gamez is charged in a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday that accuses him one count of sexual abuse of a ward.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Gamez engaged in sexual activity with one inmate on two occasions in September 2016 while he was on duty as a correctional officer.
Gamez allegedly directed a second female inmate to engage in a sexual act with him in May 2017 after he caught her attempting to steal food from a storage facility. Gamez alleged threated to send the victim to the “hole,” and then directed her to engage in sexual activity, which the victim did not resist because “she felt frozen and powerless with fear,” according to the affidavit.
The complaint further alleges that Gamez exposed himself to a third inmate and attempted to engage in a sexual act with her in the summer of 2017.
Gamez has worked for the BOP at several California locations since August 2012. He has been assigned to the Victorville complex since July 2016.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If he were to be convicted of the charge in the complaint, Gamez would face a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.
The case against Gamez is being investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Julius J. Nam and Sean Peterson of the Riverside Branch Office.