March 18 (UPI) -- A federal corrections officer in California was arrested on charges of sexually abusing two female inmates, prosecutors said Friday.
Apolonio Gamez, 40, worked as a guard at the Federal Correctional Institution in Victorville, Calif. when the assaults occurred, according a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California.
Prosecutors said the first instance took place in September 2016, when he engaged in sexual activity with one inmate on two occasions.
The next incident allegedly took place in May 2017, when he caught a female inmate stealing food from a storage facility and threatened to send her to solitary confinement if she refused to engage in sexual activity with him. Solitary confinement facilities were at a different location, which meant that the inmate would be further away from friends and family who were able to visit her at the Victorville facility.
Feeling "frozen and powerless with fear," the inmate gave into Gamez's demands for oral sex. After the sexual assault, she wiped her tongue on her bra to keep for DNA evidence and reported the incident to authorities in July.
Game pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a $100,000 bail.
In the past year, two corrections officers at the Victorville facility have been convicted of crimes performed while on duty, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
Former corrections officer Ignacia Adrian Sobers Jr., 31, was sentenced to 6 months in prison back in July for receiving a $1,000 bribe to sneak in pornography and MP3 players to an inmate.
And in April 2017, former correctional officer Cynthia Flores, 34, pleaded guilty to falsification of records after she kicked an inmate's head and lied about the assault when she said the inmate attacked her.