SACRAMENTO — A former California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) correctional officer pleaded guilty today to submitting a false report in connection with a federal civil rights investigation, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Ashley Marie Aurich, 32, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty to one count of falsification of records in a federal investigation.
According to court documents, Aurich was a correctional officer at California State Prison, Sacramento. On Sept. 15, 2016, Aurich and another former correctional officer, Arturo Pacheco, escorted an inmate whose hands were handcuffed behind the inmate’s back. During the escort, Aurich saw Pacheco bend down behind the inmate and pull the inmate’s legs out from under him. This caused the inmate immediately to fall forward violently striking his head and upper torso on the concrete. The inmate-victim was taken to the hospital where he died approximately two days later.
After the incident, Aurich prepared a false report regarding Pacheco’s assault on the victim in which Aurich inaccurately described the way Pacheco took the victim to the ground and failed to identify another witness to the assault. Aurich prepared the false report in order to deceive investigators, minimize Pacheco’s conduct, and obstruct the ensuing federal investigation.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CDCR, Office of Internal Affairs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Fogerty is prosecuting the case.
Aurich is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb on April 12. Aurich faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Arturo Pacheco, 38, of Mather, is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation in a related case. The charges against Pacheco are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (2:20-cr-221-WBS)