In a bizarre incident at a prison in California around two years ago, a corrections officer had sex with a prisoner in full view of 11 other inmates.
The former prison guard at the Fresno County jail, Tina Gonzalez, has confessed her crime and will serve 201 days locked up, followed by two years of probation. Her sentence was delivered on Tuesday by Judge Michael Idiart in Fresno County after testimony by Assistant Sheriff Steve McComas.
McComas said in his testimony that Gonzalez' actions were "something only a depraved mind can come up with," reports The Fresno Bee.
The investigation into the matter started after staff members at the sheriff's office were tipped in December 2019 about a county jail inmate with a cell phone. They were told that the inmate is in a sexual relationship with Gonzalez. The officers recovered the said phone after a search of the inmate's cell, while Gonzalez was also interrogated about the claims of her sexual relations following which she quit from her post.
McComas told the court during Tuesday's hearing that Gonzalez not only established sexual relations with the prisoner, but she also gave him razors, a potential weapon behind bars, and used to forewarn him about surprise inspections.
The 26-year-old, who had been working as a correctional officer since 2016, allegedly also cut a hole in her uniform to make it easier for her to have sex with the inmate, which she did in front of other inmates. She maintained contact with the prisoner even after she was caught and showed no regret for her actions.
"She took an oath which she betrayed and in doing so endangered her coworkers' lives. But she has shown no remorse. She continually calls and has sexually explicit conversations with the inmate in question and boasts about the crimes she carried out," McComas said in his testimony.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez' defense attorney Martin Taleisnik told the court that she has taken responsibility for her actions, while noting that the recent end of her marriage at the time had made her vulnerable and led to the crime. "It was never her intention to bring any harm or danger to the employees in the jail or anyone else in the jail," Taleisnik said.
Gonzalez pleaded no contest to the allegations against her, and is facing a felony count of sexual activity by a detention facility employee with a consenting confined adult, a felony count of possession of drugs or an alcoholic beverage in a jail facility, and a misdemeanor count of possession of cellular device with intent to deliver to an inmate.
While delivering the sentence, Judge Idiart said to Gonzalez, "What you did was terrible, stupid and you have ruined your career. But I also believe that people can redeem themselves and you have the rest of your life to do that."