(KRON) — Six prison guards allegedly ran a “rape club” inside Federal Correctional Institute at Dublin where they sexually abused female inmates for years, investigators said. And Darrell Wayne Smith was the worst offender, according to charges filed by prosecutors.
Smith, 53, is named in court documents by his legal name, as well as his nickname, “Dirty Dick Smith.” The U.S. Department of Justice charged Smith with 12 counts, the most counts of any guard prosecuted in the scandal.
Smith appeared in a Northern District of California courtroom on Tuesday to face accusations that he sexually abused three female inmates in his custody.
Rampant sexual abuse was carried out by guards who worked for FCID, located across the street from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, prosecutors said. Smith moved to Florida after FBI agents began investigating the guards’ conduct.
Smith was arrested at his home in Crawfordville, Fla., on May 11 and he was extradited back to California.
According to an indictment filed April 13, Smith was employed at FCID as a correctional officer when he engaged in sexual acts and sexual contact with three female inmates who were then serving prison sentences. The indictment describes twelve incidences between May 2019 and May 2021 when inmates were abused.
“This indictment shocks the conscience of anyone reading it,” U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey said. “The alleged conduct falls far below the minimum standards of decency required — much less, the standards of integrity expected — of any Bureau of Prisons employee.”
Smith had sex with inmates inside a janitor’s closet and a laundry room, court documents state. The abuse was so rampant that inmates reportedly nicknamed the guard “Dirty Dick Smith.”
“For years, the defendant allegedly used his position of authority, as a federal corrections officer, to commit unspeakable acts of abuse and violence against multiple victims in a correctional institution,” said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to aggressively pursuing those who violate the civil rights of others, no matter their rank or title.”
Federal Correctional Institute at Dublin’s former warden, Ray Garcia, was convicted last year on eight counts of sex abuse and lying to FBI agents.
“The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General is committed to bringing to justice every single BOP employee at FCI Dublin who sexually abused inmates. To date, those efforts have already included arrests and convictions of FCI Dublin’s former Warden and Chaplain,” said Inspector General Michael Horowitz. “(The) indictment alleges brazen and violent sexual assault by Smith and alleges abuse of multiple inmates over several years.”
Federal law prohibits sexual contact between prison guards and inmates, and inmates cannot legally give consent.
Smith faces a maximum term of life in prison if convicted of the charges. His next federal court appearance is scheduled for July 10.