Correctional officer sexually abused three inmates at FCI Dublin, federal prosecutors say

A prison wall rises behind a barbed wire fence
The Federal Correctional Institution Dublin, in Alameda County, is shown in 2006.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

A former corrections officer at one of the only federal women’s prisons in the country sexually abused three inmates, United States prosecutors said this week in a new indictment.

John Russell Bellhouse, who worked as an officer at Federal Correctional Institute Dublin in Alameda County, was originally charged in February with one count of sexual abuse against an inmate.

On Thursday, Bellhouse was indicted on sexual abuse charges against two other inmates and charged with two additional counts of abuse against the first victim.


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“Both Victims 2 and 3 are described as inmates serving their prison sentences at FCI Dublin at the time of the sexual abuse and were also under the custodial supervision of Bellhouse,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.

In total, Bellhouse faces two counts of sexual abuse of a ward and four counts of sexually abusive contact.

“The additional charges unsealed today demonstrate the priority the Department of Justice has placed on prosecuting cases of sexual misconduct by Bureau of Prison employees,” Deputy Atty. Gen. Lisa Monaco said in the release. “We have no tolerance for correction officers who betray the trust placed in them to safely and humanely care for those in their custody.”

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Bellhouse is one of several FCI Dublin officers to be charged with sexual abuse in recent months.

The facility, 20 miles southeast of Oakland, had been named “the rape club” by workers and inmates, reflecting a culture of abuse, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Last year, Warden Ray J. Garcia was charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting an inmate, sexually harassing another and keeping nude photos of an inmate on his Bureau of Prisons computer.


In January, a former chaplain at the prison was indicted on five federal charges. including sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.