California jail guard charged with sex assaults on 3 inmates

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STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A San Joaquin County correctional officer was arrested Monday on rape and other charges for allegedly sexually assaulting three women inmates.

Zachary Simmons, 34, was being held on $1.2 million bail after turning himself in and being booked at the same jail where he had worked, authorities said. 

Prosecutors contend that Simmons raped an inmate in 2015 and committed other sex crimes with two inmates in 2015 and 2018 at the San Joaquin County Jail in unincorporated French Camp near Stockton.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Simmons had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Simmons has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2008. He was placed on administrative leave in late August after the Sheriff’s Office began investigating allegations against him, the office said.

“Correctional officers are in a position of trust, and they have a duty to ensure the well-being of those in custody under their care,” county District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. “There is no greater perversion of that trust than the sexual assault of an inmate under your care.”

Salazar’s office said it was setting up a hotline for current and former inmates of the county jail who may be victims of sexual assault there. The district attorney said services and counseling would be made available.

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