San Quentin State Prison captain accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious person

Closeup of a gate with tall, curved metal bars and razor wire.
San Quentin State Prison.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

A San Quentin State Prison captain was arrested last week on suspicion of sexually assaulting someone who was unconscious.

Orlando Ponce, 43, was arrested Thursday, accused of forcible penetration of an unconscious person, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

An individual reported the alleged incident to the Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 30, saying it occurred in San Quentin Village, a neighborhood just outside the prison. No other details were available.


Ponce has been employed at the prison since March 2001, Lt. Guim’Mara Berry, a facility spokesperson, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Ponce was booked into Marin County jail on $100,000 bail.

The governor’s clemency power allows him to free people, but Newsom rarely uses it. Instead, he sends prisoners to the parole board to decide their fate.

Feb. 10, 2023