A retired California women’s prison guard was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of raping more than a dozen inmates at the facility where he worked, authorities said.
Gregory Rodriguez, 55, of Fresno, was booked into Madera County Jail on 96 counts, the vast majority based on allegations of rape and other violent sex offenses, according to jail records.
A 27-year veteran correctional officer, Rodriguez worked from 2010 to 2022 at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, the largest women’s prison in the state.
The charges stem from an investigation that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Office of Internal Affairs began last July. Rodriguez retired shortly after he was approached by investigators, authorities said.
After revealing the investigation’s initial findings in December, department officials worked with the Madera County district attorney’s office to file charges.
“In the recent history here in Madera, this is the largest case of its kind,” said Dist. Atty. Sally Moreno.
Moreno said that the charges cover allegations that go as far back as 2014, but that most are from Rodriguez’s last two years at the prison.
Rodriguez remains in Madera County Jail in lieu of $7.8-million bail, records show. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Madera County Superior Court. If convicted as charged, he could face more than 300 years in prison.
“These allegations do not reflect on the majority of corrections officers,” Moreno said. “The removal and arrest of this defendant encourages them to do their job of honorably upholding the law.”
Moreno believes there could be more victims who have yet to be identified. Anyone with information can contact investigators at (559) 975-9124.
Rodriguez is the latest California correctional officer to be accused of sexually abusing female inmates. At Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin in the Bay Area, at least six employees have been arrested on charges of sexual abuse.
“The department resolutely condemns any staff member, especially a peace officer, who violates their oath and shatters the trust of the public,” Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Jeff Macomber said in a statement.