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Merced County correctional officer accused of sexual battery
Merced sheriff pic1

Charges have been filed by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office accusing a correctional officer with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department of sexual misconduct.

The allegations claim Gregory M. Rich, 42, of Atwater inappropriately touched three women at the John Latorraca Correctional Center on Jan. 27, 2015. The criminal complaint against Rich was filed Feb. 16.

The district attorney’s office filed a felony charge of assault by a public officer and three misdemeanor charges of sexual battery against Rich, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.

 Rich has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 7. He was not booked into jail and has an arraignment scheduled for March 19 in Merced County Superior Court.

The allegations were made on Jan. 29, 2015, by three women. One is a 21-year-old inmate at the correctional facility. Claims were also lodged that day by a 29-year-old correctional officer and a 43-year-old contract employee with the sheriff’s department.