A 31-year-old deputy has been arrested after being accused of sexual assaulting two female inmates at a jail facility in Lynwood, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced Thursday.
Giancarlo Scotti, a 10-year-veteran, faces charges of rape under color of authority and oral copulation under color of authority, McDonnell told reporters during a news conference.
Scotti was arrested 6 p.m. Wednesday, the same day the incident occurred and hours after one of the inmates reported it to a teaching instructor at the Century Regional Detention Facility, the sheriff said.
The alleged assaults took place over the course of an hour early in the morning -- while the deputy was on-duty -- and reported around 9 a.m., according to McDonnell. After, the scene was locked down as the investigation began.
"We immediately put investigators on the case," he emphasized.
Scotti was notified of the allegations and put in the watch commander's office, where he remained until shortly before 2 p.m. The deputy was taken into custody after investigators gathered evidence, which "was compelling enough to make the arrest," McDonnell said the news conference.
There was no immediate indication that any other law enforcement personnel were involved.
After being arrested, Scotti was booked at the Norwalk jail and was later released after posting $100,000 bail, the sheriff said. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Criminal charges have not yet been filed in the case, but Scotti is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Oct. 5, according to McDonnell.
“Let me be clear that the crime of this nature is horrific," he said. "Criminal misconduct, especially criminal misconduct that preys upon a vulnerable population, will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Prior to the news conference, the Sheriff's Department had released few details about the case, announcing the arrest Thursday morning in a news release by saying only that the deputy was accused of "serious allegations of criminal misconduct while on-duty."
The Los Angeles Times, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, had reported before McDonnell spoke that the deputy was arrested "on suspicion of sexual assault under the color of authority" after an alleged incident involving a female jail inmate.