Former correctional officer John Bellhouse, 40, has been sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for sexually abusing inmates at the Federal Correctional Institute Dublin, the only federal prison for women in the Bay Area. Bellhouse, a former resident of Pleasanton, was convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of a ward and three counts of abusive sexual conduct.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez also ordered Bellhouse to serve five years of supervised release upon his release from custody and pay a fine of $25,500. This sentence exceeds the sentencing guidelines. Bellhouse is the latest among eight correctional officers to be charged and sentenced for crimes involving sexual misconduct at FCI Dublin.
Prosecutors stated that Bellhouse victimized at least three inmates, starting in December 2019. The sexual abuse occurred in various locations within the prison, including the safety warehouse, office, and a cell. Bellhouse coerced his victims into compliance by providing them with contraband items such as Starbucks coffee, yarn, jewelry, and cleaning supplies. Possession of these items exposed the inmates to potential punishments, including solitary confinement.
U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey condemned Bellhouse’s actions, stating that he violated his oath and abused his power as a correctional officer. Ramsey emphasized that the sentence sends a clear message that the sexual abuse of inmates by guards will not be tolerated.
Bellhouse is ordered to surrender on or before February 2, 2024, to begin serving his sentence.