U.N.I.O.N.
United for No Injustice, Oppression or Neglect

Corcoran Prison



2004

 Citizens Complaint


Subj:    Amnesty's action on the Corcoran rape case
Date:    11/3/98 5:09:22 AM Pacific Standard Time
From:    noa
To:    Rightor1@aol.com
USA: Investigation into rape of California prisoner should have  been followed through Amnesty International is writing to the California authorities to  express its concern at reports that a 1997 investigation into the rape  of a male prisoner by a fellow male prisoner was abandoned because of lack of cooperation by prison officers.

On 8 October 1998 five California prison officers were indicted by a grand jury on conspiracy and other charges stemming from the 1993 rape  of a prisoner at Corcoran State Prison, California by a fellow prisoner.  The indictment follows a three month investigation by the state Attorney  General following revelations to a California newspaper by a former  guard at the prison.

According to news reports the former officer admitted that it had taken him so long to come forward because of the  so-called "code of silence" among prison officers (whereby prison  officers  do not come forward to reports on incidents of abuse of  prisoners by fellow guards). The officer reportedly said "After  examining my heart, I felt it was the right thing to do - to come  forward and talk about what happened to Eddie Dillard [the victim] that  day, to let the public know".

According to news reports, the incident was investigated last year by  the State Department of Corrections and the local District Attorney's office but because the authorities could not break the prison officer's "code of silence," the matter was dropped.

The prisoner who carried out  the rape reportedly told state investigators at the time that he raped  Eddie Dillard at the request of prison staff. He is also alleged to have  told investigators that any time they needed an inmate "checked" they  could count on him and that, depending on his mood, he would either rape  or beat them.

Reports of the case describe how the attacker had a dozen  reports of previous assaults and rapes documented in his prison file and how he received extra benefits such as extra food and shoes from prison  staff after such attacks.

The victim, who had apparently listed his attacker as an enemy in his  personal file, was transferred to the rapist's cell on the orders of  prison staff - including a sergeant who gave the order for him to be  moved - as retaliation for kicking a female guard.  While Amnesty International welcomes the investigation into the incident  by the state Attorney General's office and the comments by the  California Director of Corrections commending the former officer for coming forward, it is deeply concerned that the initial investigation by  the state authorities was abandoned because of prison officers' refusal  to cooperate despite the fact that there appeared to be other evidence  to support the victim's allegations.

The organization's concerns are strengthened by reports that one of the officers indicted in this case  arranged the rape of a second prisoner in June 1993 and that these  abuses would have continued if the former prison officer had not come  forward with his testimony. Amnesty International is asking the California authorities what measures  have been put into place to ensure the protection of inmates from such  abuse, to ensure that correctional officers are under a duty to report  abuse of prisoners by fellow officers and urging that any prison officer  found to have been involved in abuse is removed from the prison system. The grand jury is continuing its investigation of the incident.  Amnesty International welcomes the investigation recently announced by  the Attorney General's office into intimidation of a prisoner by guards  at the High Dessert State prison, California.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/1999/10/27/state1852EDT0076.DTL&type=printable

Experienced inmates at Corcoran used to 'school' other prisoners
KILEY RUSSELL, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, October 27, 1999
(10-27) 15:52 PDT HANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- A guard at one of the nation's toughest prisons testified Wednesday that hardened prisoners are often told to teach younger, less experienced inmates how to do their time.

Lt. Daniel Fulks' testimony was the latest in the trial of four guards accused of setting up the prison-cell rape of an inmate by a hulking enforcer twice his size as punishment for kicking a female guard at another prison.

Fulks, a supervisor in the Security Housing Unit at Corcoran State Prison, was a defense witness, presented to the jury as an expert on how things work at the unit where some of California's most violent prisoners are held.

The guards on trial allegedly left 23-year-old inmate Eddy Dillard in a cell with Wayne Jerome Robertson, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound sexual predator known as the ``Booty Bandit,'' despite the smaller man's repeated protests.

Previous testimony has painted Robertson as an inmate who liked to have young, small prisoners put in his cell for his sexual pleasure and for their punishment.

``He needs to learn how to do his time,'' Robertson testified that he told Sgt. Robert Decker, one of the guards on trial, as he presented the sergeant with a list of preferred cellmates. ``Whatever I decide to do ... he needs to straighten up his act.''

``You don't see any inherent problem with asking a convicted felon in state prison to teach younger inmates how to do their time?'' asked Deputy Attorney General Vern Pierson.

``Well, they're all convicted felons,'' Fulks replied. ``But you don't tell them to commit assault and that's not intended.''

Sometimes guards will tell an experienced inmate that a younger, more volatile prisoner is not handling his prison time well, Fulks said. Guards will ask the older inmate to help the less experienced counterpart adjust to prison life, he said.

``If I knew he had a history of being a rapist, no, I wouldn't put younger inmates in the same cell with him,'' Fulks said.

The defense has maintained that the guards had no way of knowing that Dillard kicked another guard, that Robertson had a reputation as a rapist or that Dillard and Robertson were listed as enemies in central prison files and therefore prison policy forbade them from being put in the same cell.

Decker, Dale Brakebill, Anthony Sylva and Joe Sanchez face up to nine years in prison if convicted. Defense attorneys expect the case to go the jury late next week. --------------------

http://www.fresnobee.com/localnews/story/0,1724,104520,00.html

Trial to begin for 4 guards in abuse of Corcoran inmate

By Jerry Bier

The Fresno Bee

(Published September 24, 1999)

HANFORD - On March 6, 1993, Eddie Dillard, a skinny Corcoran State Prison inmate serving a 10-year term for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, was placed in the cell of a 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound murderer nicknamed the "Booty Bandit."

Dillard said he was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted by the larger inmate, Wayne Robertson, and that he was put into the cell by Corcoran guards who laughed at his protests.

Dillard was attacked a second time before he was able to escape the cell and receive help, he said.

Four Corcoran guards are scheduled to go on trial Monday in Kings County Superior Court in Hanford on a multicount indictment charging them with conspiring with Robertson to commit the sexual attack by putting Dillard in the cell to punish him for kicking a female correctional officer.

Nearly 500 potential jurors have been called in the case because of the extensive publicity surrounding the Corcoran prison in the past several years and charges involving its correctional officers' treatment of prisoners.

In recent weeks, television advertisements sponsored by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association have sought to soften public sentiment and focus on the tough jobs of the prison guards.

The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case against correctional officers Robert Allan Decker, 41; Anthony James Sylva, 36; Dale Shawn Brakebill, 34, and Joe Sanchez, 38.

A fifth defendant, Lt. Jeffrey Alan Jones, 37, was dropped from the case after a hearing before Superior Court Judge Louis F. Bissig.

Lawyer Wayne Ordos of Sacramento, who is representing Sanchez, said the charges should never have been brought and called the case "one of Dan Lungren's last political gasps."

The case was brought a month before last year's general election, while Lungren was state attorney general and running for governor, and in the wake of criticism about the state's handling of Corcoran investigations.

Ordos said Dillard and Robertson, his alleged attacker, were actually friends and part of the same Southern California gang and "nothing happened when they were first put together."

Katherine Hart, a Fresno lawyer representing Brakebill, said she thinks the prosecution will have a difficult time proving its case.

The guards, Hart said, "didn't do it and they didn't aid and abet it."

Prosecutors contend that the guards placed Dillard in Robertson's cell to punish him for kicking a female guard at a prison where he had been housed.

Former guard Roscoe Pondexter, now a Fresno State athletic department counselor, figures to play a prominent role for the prosecution.

Pondexter, a 6-foot-7-inch, 270-pound giant of a man nicknamed "Bonecrusher" at the prison and himself forced to resign from Corcoran for mistreating inmates, has testified before state and federal grand juries of the alleged mistreatment of prisoners by Corcoran guards.

"According to Pondexter, it was also well known that Robertson was willing to do 'dirty work' for prison staff; in other words, in exchange for favors he would discipline other inmates that were disrespectful to prison staff," prosecutors said in a trial memorandum.

In addition to the Kings County case, an unrelated federal case against eight other Corcoran prison guards, who are accused of staging inmate fights for sport, is scheduled for trial March 14.

Dillard also has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against the state.

The upcoming Hanford trial sparked the television ads on behalf of the correctional officers. Jeff Thompson, a lobbyist for the guards' union, said the advertisements are an attempt to "balance the impressions" from "slanted" media reporting on its guards.

The ads echo the statements of lawyers who are defending the guards against the state and federal charges.

The 30-second spots have comments from officers, an unidentified officer's wife and a montage of images such as tattooed inmates and staged-for-television confrontations. The ads attempt to portray the difficult conditions and daily threats that officers face, especially at Corcoran, which houses some of the state's most dangerous inmates.

Hart said she believes the prison guards have a favorable image in Kings County.

Deputy Attorney General Vernon R. Pierson, one of the prosecutors, said in the trial memorandum that Robertson, serving life without parole for murder and other crimes, was a known predator who has a prison record "dating back well over a decade chronicling numerous incidents of sexual assault against fellow inmates, as well as his reputation for selecting younger, smaller, vulnerable inmates as prey."

Dillard, who is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 118 pounds, and who looked "like a 14-year-old boy," had had a confrontation with Robertson while they were at the California Correctional Institute at Tehachapi in 1991. After that confrontation, Dillard voluntarily transferred to Calipatria State Prison.

When Dillard kicked a female guard in the thigh at Calipatria, he was transferred to Corcoran, where Robertson also was being held in the security housing unit. Dillard contends the female officer spit at him first.

The trial memorandum says Decker allegedly prepared the transfer order for Dillard to be moved in with Robertson. The memorandum also alleges that Brakebill and Sylva moved the protesting inmate into the cell and that Sanchez laughed at him when Dillard told him his life was in danger.

Lawyers will hold a trial confirmation hearing today, and jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. Picking a jury, according to some estimates, could take most of next week.

The trial has been estimated to last up to six weeks.

------------------- Why isn't the name of this article the Criminals are wearing the badges? Her closing statement "facing up to the problems is the first step" illustrates that most people are still in denial about this corruption that has caused so many Californian's lives to be destroyed.  But those hurt are mostly taking it without doing what it necessary to recall and vote the bums out of office.  Why do we take this crap when we have all the power as an organized voting block to end it?  Too many people sitting on the sidelines not writing or willing to demonstrate or recruit to raise money, this is making reform a slow process.  Get busy.

Cayenne

Go here and post a response, let's outnumber the guards who are posting happy for the victory.  So far only UNION members are speaking out against the ruling, everybody join in....

http://www.fresnobee.com/localnews/story/0,1724,113708,00.html

B. Cayenne Bird

In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted
Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 8:50

The acquittal of the Corcoran prison guards gives free license to continued abuse of inmates. It sends a message to the 40,000 CCPOA (Mafia) that they can literally commit heinous crimes without consequence. We allow the torture of inmates at prisons throughout the state, and wonder why the recividism rate is so high. Sending tortured inmates back to our communities should not be the objective of justice. Every Californian should be outraged over this inhumanity and travesty. Double-celling laws are not adhered to, the CCPOA controlling the Human Bondage Industry has total power. This will not end until the citizens end it. Please join our group to fight back.

B. Cayenne Bird, UNION

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Parliament/2398/home.html

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John C
In Response To Not guilty on all counts
Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 8:47
I'm happy for the officers. The truth shall set you free. Peace my brothers. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Marlene Suttles

In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted

Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 7:34

It's a joke. They were guilty as hell and most of us know that but how could the verdict have been anything other than what it was as the trial took place too close to home and the entire area is supported by the prison industry. Bread and butter in every one's Mouths. Not much to figure out is there?

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Perry` In Response To Not guilty on all counts Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 7:20 Justice Prevailed! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Linda

In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted

Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 6:42

The acquittal of these guards is a travesty. I only feel outrage because if I or someone with no deep pockets protecting them did such outrageous things we would never be acquitted. The CCPOA is back to business as usual and the Corcoran legacy continues. Shame on you California.

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Brian Dawe In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 5:26 Mr. Pierson called this a "significant accomplishment" nearly wrecking the lives of four honest men! Torturing them and their families for over a year on the word of two convicted felons? An accomplishment, hardly - it is a disgrace and so isn't Pierson. Congratulations to the fine Officers who everyday put their lives on the line so that we, even Mr. Pierson, can be safe.

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Dave In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Tuesday November 9, 1999 at 1:20 I can't express my the disappointment enough at the media and public as a whole of the constant bombardment towards Corrections Officers. We create these laws to lock these felons up to get them out of society, but anytime a poor inmate says he is allegedly mistreated the media wants to jump and cry foul and criticize Officers and portray them as the bad guys. What is wrong here? Over the past few years the Fresno Bee has really Disgusted me with their one sided journalism and their inadequate investigation into the various alleged abuses at CSP-Corcoran. My hat is off to those 12 jurors in Kings County who actually listened to both sides and came up with an intelligent decision. I hope this experience will start changing some attitudes. Go Green! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Boudreau In Response To Woody enters race for City Cou Monday November 8, 1999 at 23:33 Is Mr. Woody a licensed civil engineer? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Islas

In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted

Monday November 8, 1999 at 22:43

That just goes to show you that you can't fight the system. I have heard many stories both good and bad about the prison system and rape is just the tip of the iceberg. Now these men will go back into the prison feeling invincible and that's a damn shame.

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Ron Collins

In Response To Letters stymie stadium's progr Monday November 8, 1999 at 22:10

As much as I would like to see baseball in Fresno, the past year has been discourageing! It sounds like if the diamond group cannot meet the requirements of the city counsel, then it seems pretty clear that they should leave. Besides, the city of Fresno cannot even achive a sell out at the Bulldog games (football or baseball). What makes everyone think that the People of Fresno will come out to see the 30 plus games. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Paul- Hanford In Response To "Bonecrusher" Poinde Monday November 8, 1999 at 21:49 The verdict handed down in the Corcoran 4 today is a good decision. All the Lame & Lazy will bad-mouth it as racial, etc, but for the first time, in a long time, a jury listened to the lack of evidence and made their decision based on that. Taxpayer's money was spent well in this case, unlike others. If anyone knows where Bonecrusher Poindexter hides out, put it here in this forum. I'm going to go see about buying a 5-pound brick of welfare cheese from somebody and present it to that Rat-Bastard. If anyone deserves it, that fink does.

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J. L. Cobbs, Captain In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 21:41

Now I hope the media takes a closer look at the allegations that inmates make upon correctional peace officers. By reading the various news accounts, it would lean toward the guilt of the officers involved as opposed to neutral reporting. As Sergeant Brakebill stated, he his co-workers and the department are vindicated. As his Captain and manager of the Custody Operations Division, I cannot wait to have him, Sergeant Decker and the other officers accused of this farce, back to work. There old assignments are waiting for them as soon as they are ready to return.

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R.R.

In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted

Monday November 8, 1999 at 21:27

I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!!!Of course what was expected of this law system. The four guards are guilty as hell!!AND THERE FREE!!!F--- the jury, the system and everyone who led those guards free. The system is so corupted the best lies will always win, not the truth, I have lost faith on the gov't. Those guards are so guilty and now they are free!!!I feel so sorry for the victims.

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John Baird In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 21:10 The real crime regarding the 'Booty Bandit' trial, is that it ever happened! The Fresno Bee should apologize to those Peace Officers who risk their lives daily and put up with abuse from ALL SIDES, in order to protect YOU, the public, from those PREDATORS who manipulate the READER, via the printed word. The real guilt lies within the Attorney General and the obvious political agenda he has against,"Those Who Work The Toughest Beat In The State"! My biggest concern is, 'How could the Grand Jury bring an indictment, WITHOUT evidence?' (The AG's Prosecutor, NEVER had any to present!) WHAT A WASTE OF TAX-PAYER-DOLLARS!

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BABY In Response To GILLIAN THE IDIOT Monday November 8, 1999 at 20:33 I BET IF YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU WILL SEE A FILTHY UGLY BEAN.ALSO YOU MAKE THREATS BUT I KNOW YOU CAN'T BACK THEM UP YOU COWARD -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- baby In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 20:12

I KNEW THAT THESE GUARDS WERE GOING TO BE FOUND NOT GUILTY.THERE IS NO JUSTICE!!!

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unknown In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 19:38 The verdict was correct. It has nothing to do with Anglo-American Justice. The Prosecution presented very weak evidence - - the make up of the jury didn't even come into play - - no jury would have convicted them. Stop blaming this on race. You can't just go and use that excuse for everything.

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A citizen In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted

Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:49

This verdict says more about California's implementation of Anglo-American jurisprudence than it does about the merits of the case. In California, even more than most other states, rich and popular celebrities get away with murder, the poor and the crazy are murdered by the state, and those between the extremes are screwed by the system (literally, in this case). Jurors are selected on the basis of malleability. Justice is a theoretical concept, like Santa Clause, and the wealth and prestige of attorneys is the greatest good. And in some cases, such as this one, jurry nullification is seen as a good thing.

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Donald In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:44

The jury made a good Descision. Its about time that the lying victimizers were not taken to be honest people. The press should not be so quick to judge just for readership. These Officers had better get on with the wronful termination lawsuite and retire on there new found wealth.

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v.guerrero In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:25 I was very happy to hear this verdict,because I have worked for the Dept.of Corrections for over thirteen years and can tell you a Correctional Officer see's all versions of the convicted felons they supervise on a daily basis.No one knows what a prison is really like until they have spent a substansial amount of time there dealing with the criminal element. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- v.guerrero In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:25 I was very happy to hear this verdict,because I have worked for the Dept.of Corrections for over thirteen years and can tell you a Correctional Officer see's all versions of the convicted felons they supervise on a daily basis.No one knows what a prison is really like until they have spent a substansial amount of time there dealing with the criminal element. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Debbie In Response To Bustamante urges Latino activi Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:13 For anyone interested in participating in the recall of the idiot Gray Davis (doesn't deserve the title of Governor) you may do so by going to the following website: RecallDavis.Com or by calling (800) 600-8642 to get your petitions. WE ARE GOING TO WIN THIS RECALL -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Debbie In Response To Bustamante urges Latino activi Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:09 That traitor and FAT pig Bustamante better be packing his bags soon because of the very successful recall effort we have in getting rid of DAVIS. When, and I say when he is recalled, you better believe that Bustamante will be next in line and so will the other pro illegal alien jerks up in Sacramento. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- v.guerrero In Response To Corcoran guards acquitted Monday November 8, 1999 at 18:03 I was very happy to hear this verdict,because I have worked for the Dept.of Corrections for over thirteen years and can tell you a Correctional Officer see's all versions of the convicted felons they supervise on a daily basis.No one knows what a prison is really like until they have spent a substansial amount of time there dealing with the criminal element.

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greg wilson In Response To Corcoran considers 2 minimum-s Monday November 8, 1999 at 17:45 Keep the prisons out of the hands of private companies. When brown stuff hits the fan they seem to say "it's not our fault that the inmates had a riot." The private companies operate for the dollar and not safety of staff and inmates.   ------------------

Below articles found in e-mail dated 10-8-98

5 Calif. Guards Implicated in Rape

By STEVE LAWRENCE, Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--A grand jury indicted five prison guards Thursday on charges of arranging or covering up the rape of one inmate by another at a notorious California prison.

     One of the officers also was accused of setting up the rape of a second prisoner at Corcoran State Prison.

     State attorney general's spokesman Rob Stutzman said a Kings County grand jury handed up an eight-count indictment accusing officers of setting up the rapes to punish the inmates.

     The five defendants were arrested late Thursday, Stutzman said.      One of the attacks allegedly occurred in March 1993 when guards placed inmate Eddie Dillard in the cell of Wayne Jerome Robertson, a burly 6 -foot-3, 230 -pound prisoner with a history of prison rapes. The guards were reportedly angry because the 120 -pound Dillard had kicked a female officer.

     Robertson reportedly told state agents last year that he received extra food and tennis shoes from staff as payment for the attack.

     The 10 -page indictment accuses officers Joe Sanchez, Dale Brakebill, Robert Decker and Anthony Sylva of placing Dillard in Robertson's cell, even though Dillard had told prison officials that Robertson was his enemy.

     A fifth officer, Jeffrey Jones, is accused of helping to cover up the attack.      Decker is also charged with using force or threats to try to keep Dillard from discussing the attack, with preparing false documentary evidence and with setting up the rape of a second prisoner, Melvin Davis, by Robertson in June 1993.

     Corcoran, located about 40 miles south of Fresno, has been rocked by a series of allegations that guards mistreated inmates.

     Last April, eight Corcoran officers were indicted on federal charges of deliberately staging gladiator-style fights between inmates. The indictments followed a lengthy investigation by the FBI. None of that group of officers was involved in Thursday's indictments.

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5 Prison Guards Implicated in Rape

.c The Associated Press

By STEVE LAWRENCE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Several guards at a notoriously violent California prison have been charged with arranging and concealing the rape of an inmate they wanted punished for kicking a female officer.

A grand jury on Thursday also accused one of the guards with setting up the rape of a different prisoner by the same burly inmate.

The Corcoran State Prison south of Fresno has been under investigation by state and federal authorities for brutality against inmates. In April, eight officers were indicted on federal charges of deliberately staging gladiator-style fights between prisoners. None of that group of officers was involved in Thursday's indictments.

The grand jury accused four guards of placing Eddie Dillard, a 120-pound inmate, in the cell of Wayne Jerome Robertson, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound prisoner.

Robertson told state agents last year that he received extra food and tennis shoes from staff as payment for attacking Dillard in March 1993.

The guards -- Sgts. Robert Decker, 40, and Dale Brakebill, 33, and Officers Joe Sanchez, 37, and Anthony Sylva, 35 -- were reportedly angry because Dillard had kicked a female officer.  A fifth officer, Lt. Jeffrey Jones, is accused of helping to cover up the attack.  Decker is also charged with using force or threats to try to keep Dillard from discussing the attack, with preparing false documentary evidence and with setting up the rape of a second prisoner, Melvin Davis, by Robertson in June 1993.

Authorities said testimony by former guard Roscoe Poindexter helped secure the indictments. ``Everyone knew about Robertson. He had raped inmates before, and he's raped inmates since,'' Poindexter told the Los Angeles Times. ``I didn't know what wrong Dillard had done, but my superiors obviously wanted him punished.''

The defendants turned themselves in to authorities at the Kings County Jail in Hanford. After being booked, they were released on their own recognizance pending arraignment.


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