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Former prison officer accused of sexually abusing inmates

A former Arizona federal prison officer has been indicted on 13 counts of sexually abusing inmates.

Joe A. Martinez was formerly indicted on Tuesday on five counts of aggravated sexual abuse and eight counts of sexual abuse of a ward.

“Incarceration is designed to provide just punishment, afford deterrence to criminal conduct, and protect the public from further crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel in a press release. “The debt one pays to society for having engaged in criminal activity does not include being subjected to sexual assault by prison staff. I commend the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the FBI for the investigation that led to this indictment.”

Martinez worked at the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Federal Correctional Institute in Phoenix.

All the charges stemmed from the alleged abuse of two inmates under his direct control in 2008 and 2010.

“Specifically, the indictment alleges that Martinez engaged in three separate sexual acts with a female inmate at the prison between May and August 2008,” said Bill Solomon with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “It also alleges that Martinez engaged in four separate sexual acts with a different female inmate at the prison between April and May 2010.”

If convicted, Martinez could be facing a $250,000 fine and life in prison.