Pubdate: Fri, 9 Oct 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Author: Los Angeles Times


Inmate rapes investigated

Los Angeles Times

FRESNO -- Five correctional officers have been indicted by a special Kings
County grand jury on conspiracy and other charges stemming from a 1993 rape
at Corcoran State Prison by an inmate enforcer nicknamed ``the Booty

The five officers, including a lieutenant, were booked at Kings County Jail
late Thursday on a variety of criminal charges including conspiracy to aid
and abet sodomy and preparing false reports. The indictments came after a
three-month investigation by the state attorney general's office into
allegations of planned rapes and cover-ups at the San Joaquin Valley prison.

The five officers were identified by the Kings County Sheriff's Department
as Lt. Jeffrey A. Jones, 36; Sgt. Robert Alan Decker, 40; Sgt. Dale S.
Brakebill, 33; and officers Anthony J. Sylva, 35 and Joe Sanchez, 37.

The March 1993 rape of inmate Eddie Dillard, a 23-year-old Los Angeles gang
member imprisoned for assault with a deadly weapon, had been investigated
last year by a state Corrections Department team and the Kings County
district attorney's office.

The alleged rapist, convicted murderer Wayne Robertson, had told state
investigators that he raped Dillard at the behest of prison staffers. But
because the initial investigation couldn't break what authorities have
described as the prison's code of silence -- no officers would come forward
about the alleged crime -- the matter was dropped.

In July, a story in the Los Angeles Times focused on one former guard who
gave the newspaper a first-hand account of the rape. Roscoe Pondexter
described how fellow officers had transferred Dillard into the cell of
Robertson, knowing that the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prison enforcer would
probably rape the small, skinny Dillard.

In August, after striking an immunity deal with Pondexter, the attorney
general's office convened a special grand jury in Kings County and
subpoenaed Pondexter, Dillard, Robertson and several officers.

Robertson told corrections investigators that any time Corcoran supervisors
needed an inmate to be ``checked'' they could call on him. Depending on his
mood, he said, he would either rape or beat them.

1997 - 1998 Mercury Center.

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Checked-by: Don Beck