A former guard at the federal lockup in Los Angeles County was sentenced Monday, March 20, to 10 years behind bars for raping an inmate who was being held in an isolation cell while recovering from COVID-19.
Jose Viera, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who ordered Viera immediately remanded into custody. Wright also scheduled a June 20 restitution hearing in the case.
Viera pleaded guilty last May to a single federal count of deprivation of rights under color of law, resulting in bodily injury. Viera was a corrections officer assigned to the Metropolitan Detention Center-Los Angeles on Dec. 20, 2020, when he entered an isolation cell where the female inmate identified by the initials J.P. was being housed. The inmate thought Viera entered her cell to bring her breakfast, as he often did, according to Viera’s plea agreement.
“Instead, defendant laid down next to her in her bed, sandwiching her between his body and the wall,” according to the document filed in federal court. “In doing so, defendant positioned himself with the front of his body pressing against victim J.P.’s back.” After being told by J.P. to stop, Viera proceeded to rape the woman. The inmate “feared physical harm from defendant as it was happening, and in fact, defendant’s conduct resulted in bodily injury” to the victim in the form of soreness and pain, according to the document.
“In performing this act, defendant did so willfully, that is, the defendant knew his conduct was against the law but engaged in such conduct anyway,” according to the document.
At his initial court appearance last year, Viera was granted release on a $25,000 bond with the conditions that he have no contact with J.P. and that he participate in mental health counseling and/or treatment.
“A corrections officer’s job is to ensure the safety and security of those in custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights unit.
“Instead, the defendant’s actions did just the opposite, destroying this woman’s sense of peace and trust in law enforcement. We hope this sentence provides a measure of justice to the victim and a reminder to would-be offenders that the Justice Department is committed to ensuring that those who work in federal prisons and abuse their positions of authority by sexually assaulting people in their care will be held accountable,” Clarke said.
15 comments for "Ex-guard who raped inmate at federal lockup gets 10 years"
Amaya K Hunt says
I hope that the men at the prison this dirtbag gets sent to do the same thing to him that he did to that woman so he can see how it feels .
Tim Scott says
I am seldom a fan of the “inmate justice” concept…but as an exception this guy should be locked up in a women’s prison after the inmates are informed of the details of his crime.
Tim Yousounddumb says
Yes let’s put the man who raped a female inmate with a bunch of female inmates ???????? What could possibly go wrong Tom
Tim Scott says
He’s not raping anyone without his badge. Like most people who carry a badge, without it he’s tough as a kitten.
Poetic Justcause says
A predator always has other victims. The other victims probably didn’t have proof.
Tim Scott says
Agreed. At this point though the predator has lost his teeth. Without his badge he doesn’t have the leverage to force himself on anyone. It is extremely unfortunate that he only got ten years. Now we are on a countdown to the day that he has to be released and the firestorm over WHERE to release him will start.
We really need to make sexual predator crimes subject to LWOP sentences. Kicking that NIMBY battle can down the road just makes no sense at all.
This is an extremely sad situation. A clear abuse of power, at one of the lowest level of authority! I feel sorry for this young lady and the scars she has sadly endured, but I pray that the justice served, helps with healing. No one deserves this kind of treatment.
Cara Duffy says
Kill All Rapist
Sandra Gunn says
I am appalled, this is sick…poor woman, she had no way out, she couldn’t run away etc.
I’m sure she was scared to death. I hope she can heal from this.
10yrs in my opinion is not enough for this predator…..you have to wonder if she was the first woman he’d done this to.
Praying for her healing.
Tim Scott says
If you want to see the dregs of society just go to the prison and watch who comes out…
at shift change.
Lynda Kackley says
Lol true that
John Patrick Maginnis says
I am reading the comments. I am really Saddened by this incident. 40 years ago I represented A Hustler Playment in Torrance who was gangraped in Manhattan Beach, California. The judge was Robert Mallano. He attacked me and called me and my client a liar.
Later charges were dropped.
Everything I went in his court he abused me.
One time I was in Long Beach on a murder case. I could not leave immediately.
I appeared on a civil case in his court. He fined me $2,500 and warned me if I did not pay the fine immediately my case would be dismissed..
The judges in California are the worst in the USA.
Federal Lockup says
Instead of Jose working in a lockup, he is now a resident of one. Congratulations!!!
Stacey Foster says
So many dirtbags in positions where they obviously should not be. Something should be done where potentials are vetted based on background, academics, experience, ect, instead of that growing ” it’s who you know, not what you know sentiment here in creep filled California.
Susan Melling says
The young lady who was violently raped and humiliated should be compensated with a monetary reward. No amount of money can take away the pain she have had to suffer and will continue to suffer until she gets mental health treatment. The Federal prison system must compensate her for all damages caused by this criminal under color of athority.