An Alaska woman is suing the federal government over sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the warden and staff at a California prison that came to be known as a “rape club.”
According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court for the District of Alaska on Monday, the woman was an inmate at a low-security prison in Dublin, Calif., when the warden, Ray Garcia, started grooming her in 2019. The lawsuit says that evolved into sexual contact and harassment over the next two or so years that continued when the woman returned to Alaska to finish her sentence at a halfway house while still under Garcia’s supervision.
Under federal law, there is no circumstance under which an incarcerated person can legally consent to sex with a prison official. According to the lawsuit, the woman was discouraged from reporting Garcia, because he ran the prison’s rape reporting program.
But the woman — named only by her initials in the lawsuit — testified at Garcia’s criminal trial in 2022, as did other victims, which led a jury to convict Garcia and a judge to sentence him to nearly six years behind bars.
The woman’s lawsuit seeks an unspecified sum of money, to be determined in court.
The Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.