STOCKTON (CBS SF) — A San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office correctional officer has been convicted of sexual assault charges involving inmates at a jail where he worked, prosecutors said.

A jury found Zachary Simmons guilty of felony sexual penetration with force or fear, sexual activity with a confined adult in a detention center, and misdemeanor communicating with a prisoner without consent, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

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Zachary Simmons (San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office)

Prosecutors said Simmons assaulted multiple women incarcerated at San Joaquin County Jail. Sheriff’s detectives learned of the accusations and investigated, then sent the case to the District Attorney’s Office, which filed charges against Simmons.

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Prosecutors on Thursday announced his conviction and said he will return to court for sentencing on Nov. 8.

“Rather than protect those in his care, Mr. Simmons abused these victims and exploited the authority he had over them,” District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. “These women, no matter their circumstances, are victims of sexual assault. Whether it’s violence at home or in a jail, as a community we must hold those accountable who harm and traumatize the most vulnerable among us.”

 

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