A former federal corrections officer was sentenced Monday to 10 years in jail for raping an inmate, who was severely sick with COVID-19 on the time, in her cell.
U.S. District Choose Otis D. Wright II imposed the utmost penalty on Jose Viera, 49, who admitted in Could that he sexually assaulted the lady in December 2020 on the U.S. Metropolitan Detention Heart in downtown L.A.
Viera, who labored for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, pleaded responsible to deprivation of rights below shade of legislation.
The inmate, recognized in courtroom filings as J.P., seen a semen stain on her sheet after the rape. She reduce off that a part of the sheet and saved it till she felt protected to report the assault.
“Had I not had that proof, I wouldn’t have wasted my time reporting something, as a result of I’d have identified it will be his phrase in opposition to mine, and [Viera] was a sworn-in correction officer on the time, and I used to be only a criminally convicted felon,” she wrote in a six-page sufferer influence assertion to the decide. “They’d have taken his phrase over mine, for positive.”
Investigators confirmed it was Viera’s DNA on the sheet fragment.
J.P. was serving a 33-month time period on the jail when she caught COVID-19 and was remoted in a quarantine unit. The day she was raped, she was struggling to breathe and had a excessive fever, sore throat, headache and physique aches, based on her courtroom submitting.
Viera walked into her cell, obtained into the bunk the place she’d been sleeping, ordered her to show round to face the wall and compelled her to have anal intercourse, inflicting her excruciating ache, J.P. wrote within the courtroom submitting. She referred to as it “torture,” saying he “violated and humiliated me within the worst manner attainable.”
Viera’s legal professional, Carlos N. Iriarte, requested a jail time period of 5 years. He instructed the decide that Viera was a “mentally broken particular person,” scarred by three excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq throughout 9 years within the Military.
“Whereas Viera understands that his private points don’t excuse his conduct, they supply a proof as for his out of character conduct,” Iriarte wrote in courtroom papers.
Prosecutors argued that Viera deserved 10 years.
“When a corrections officer sexually abuses a person in his custody, the gravity of his conduct can’t be overstated, significantly due to the coercive nature of the connection between the offender and the sufferer,” they wrote in a courtroom submitting.
“A corrections officer’s job is to make sure the security and safety of these in custody,” stated Assistant Atty. Gen. Kristen Clarke of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division. “As an alternative, the defendant’s actions did simply the alternative, destroying this lady’s sense of peace and belief in legislation enforcement.”