Former Ventura County sheriff’s deputy admits to sexual misconduct with inmate

Local news

A former Ventura County Sheriff’s Office deputy pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of engaging in consensual sexual activity with a female inmate, prosecutors said Thursday.

Leonard Herrera Lopez, 49, also admitted to a misdemeanor count of entering the inmate’s cell without another employee present, a misdemeanor, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

The inmate was assigned to a custody unit under Lopez’s supervision on Sept. 6, 2019, and he went into her cell without other staff present the morning of that same day, prosecutors said.

He kissed and touched her, which she later reported to other jail staff, prosecutors said. State law mandates that inmates are incapable of giving legal consent to sexual activity with jail staff.

Lopez is expected to be sentenced in Ventura County Superior Court on June 24. He faces up to 180 days in jail and a year of probation.

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