Posted by Phoenix Assault Crimes Attorney Nick Alcock:
A former correctional employee at a federal prison north of Phoenix has been indicted on charges that he sexually abused inmates over a three year period. The U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday that individual now faces13 counts of sexual abuse of inmates: five counts of aggravated sexual abuse and eight counts of sexual abuse of a ward.
Joe A. Martinez, 48, was indicted by a federal grand jury and accused of sexually abusing two female inmates in 2008 and 2010 at the Federal Correctional Institution Phoenix, a medium-security prison 25 miles north of downtown Phoenix on Interstate I-17.
In a written statement, acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel said that a joint investigation by the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which operates the facility, led to the indictments. “The debt one pays to society for having engaged in criminal activity does not include being subjected to sexual assault by prison staff,” said Scheel. The indictments charge that on various occasions Martinez sexually assaulted two female inmates who were under his authoritative and disciplinary control. The assaults mostly occurred in or near a prison scrapyard, according to the indictments.
Aggravated sexual abuse carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for sexual abuse of a ward has a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
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