Ex-federal prison guard agrees to plea deal with prosecutors in sexual abuse case

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OAKLAND — Days before he was brought up on federal charges of sexually abusing an incarcerated woman, a former chaplain at Dublin’s federal prison agreed to plead guilty to a federal offense, according to new court filings.

James T. Highhouse was charged Jan. 18 with four counts of sexually abusing a woman in FCI Dublin, and one count of lying about it to the FBI. But four days before filing the charges, federal prosecutors agreed to a plea deal with Highhouse. Details of the deal haven’t been released, though he is expected to plead guilty to at least one charge, records show.

Highhouse faces up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted of sexual abuse, but federal sentencing guidelines will place him in a much lower range. His change-of-plea hearing is set for Feb. 23, court records show.

The charging documents allege that Highhouse abused a single victim during a time…

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