ATLANTA, GA – Three former inmates have leveled accusations of years of physical and sexual abuse against staff members of the federal prison they all served their sentences at, with one describing their period of confinement there as having been a “living hell.”
The three inmates testified Tuesday before a Senate investigative panel investigating the allegations, saying that they endured unspeakable attacks against their persons, and were threatened with severe retaliation by members of the Federal Bureau of Prisons if they dared to reported the abuse.
Linda De La Rosa said that her abuse began in 2019 by an employee of a federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky, who utilized her personal records to essentially blackmail her and several other inmates not to report his unwanted sexual advances, saying “My life was a living hell.”
De La Rosa’s abuser has later arrested, convicted, and is currently serving a 135-month stint in prison; the individual also has other accusations of sexual assault against several other female inmates as well.
Briane Moore, a former inmate at a prison in Alderson, West Virginia, choked back tears as she recounted how a captain raped her – and other inmates as well – numerous times, and coerced her silence by threatening to sabotage her attempts to transfer to a facility closer to her family.
“While he was raping me, he was raping other women,” Moore said. “I’m still suffering. This has changed the course of my life.”
Former New York inmate Carolyn Richardson said that “I felt utterly powerless” when she was forced to submit to the sexual advances of a corrections officer who threatened to withhold access to food and medical care for her ailing eyesight.
Senate committee Chairman Jon Ossoff (D-GA) said that the probe into the Bureau of Prisons system has revealed that it does not have the ability to adequately police themselves for this sort of abhorrent conduct among its employees, especially when it comes to the treatment of female inmates.
“This situation is intolerable,” Ossoff said. “It is cruel and unusual punishment.”
Officials are now actively considering early release for victims of sex assault in federal prison.
Tuesday’s harrowing testimony comes on the heels of the news of the conviction of Ray Garcia, the warden of a California federal prison on charges of sexually abusing three of his inmates.