HANFORD, Calif. - Four guards at one of the state's toughest prisons put an inmate in a cell with a known sexual predator to ''teach him how to do his time,'' a prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday.
The guards at the notorious Corcoran State Prison allegedly put Eddie Dillard in the cell and left him there for three days in March 1993 to be repeatedly raped. They allegedly set up the rapes to punish Dillard, in prison for assault with a deadly weapon, for kicking a female guard at another prison.
''When this case began I used the phrase 'no one is above the law.' Now I have to ask 'or are they?''' said Deputy Attorney General Vern Pierson. ''Is someone above the law because they carry a badge?''
Sgts. Robert Decker, 41, and Dale Brakebill, 34, and Officers Anthony Sylva, 36, and Joe Sanchez, 38, all are charged with aiding and abetting sodomy in concert and face up to nine years in prison if convicted.
The defendants knew what would happen if they put Dillard in the cell at Corcoran's Security Housing Unit with the 220-pound Wayne Robertson, Pierson said.
Robertson, known as the ''Booty Bandit'' for his propensity to rape his cellmates, is doing life without the possibility of parole for a 1979 murder conviction.
Documents listing Robertson as a ''Celia raper'' and designating him and Dillard as enemies were used by the persecution to try to prove that the guards knew Robertson's reputation and that the two inmates should never have been put in the same cell.
Pierson also reminded jurors that another guard in the unit where the rapes are said to have taken place testified any good floor officer knows the people in his building, specially the unusual ones.''
''And Wayne Robertson was not somebody who kept a secret about what he was about,'' Pierson said. ''He was open about what he wanted, and he wanted inmates to prey upon.
''And inmates to prey upon, he clearly had at Corcoran State Prison.''
Robertson testified earlier in the trial that guards knew his reputation and that he was sometimes used by them to punish unruly inmates.
Robertson also admitted to raping Dillard in 1993 and said the four defendants knew what would happen to Dillard if the two of them were left alone together.
''Eddie Dillard is telling the truth,'' Pierson said. ''These four defendants are guilty. There's no question about it.''