A guard at the federal lockup in downtown Los Angeles faces up to five years behind bars if convicted of lying to investigators about sexual activity with an inmate who was under his supervision, according to court documents obtained Thursday.

Abel Concho, 53, of East Los Angeles, is charged with one federal count of making false statements, according to an indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court.

Officials said the defendant was arrested without incident Wednesday. An arraignment date was not immediately scheduled.

Concho was employed by the Bureau of Prisons as a correctional officer at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles that houses a total of 635 male and female inmates. The alleged victim in this case was an MDC inmate under Concho’s supervision from June 2010 to February 2011.

From February 2020 to July 2021, a federal criminal investigation was underway into allegations that Concho had sexual contact with multiple inmates at MDC. It is a federal crime for a BOP employee to engage in any sexual act with a person in official detention and under his supervision. It also is a federal crime for any BOP employee to smuggle contraband, including cell phones, into MDC for inmates’ use.

On July 28 last year, federal investigators interviewed Concho, who allegedly made a series of false statements, including that he “never” had sexual contact with one MDC inmate, when in fact Concho engaged in sexual contact with the victim on nearly three dozen occasions, according to the indictment.

Concho, on multiple occasions, also lied that he “never had sexual contact” with any MDC inmates, the document alleges.

After initially denying he had any sexual contact with the victim, Concho then falsely stated that he had sexual intercourse and engaged in oral sex with the victim just “once (or) twice” that he could recall, the indictment alleges.

Prosecutors also contend that Concho falsely stated on multiple occasions that he did not provide a cell phone to the victim to take nude photographs for him. In fact, he illegally smuggled a cell phone into MDC, and passed it to the victim to take nude photographs for him, prosecutors allege.

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