A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday as part of an internal investigation into allegations that he sexually molested a child.
Deputy Sean Essex was arrested Friday and booked into jail. He awaits charges for lewd acts and oral copulation with a child under the age of 14, officials said.
The investigation began following a report from the Los Angeles County Suspected Child Abuse Report system.
The case was investigated by the Sheriff’s Department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau and the Special Victims Bureau.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will review the case, the sheriff’s department said.
A statement from the sheriff’s department released Friday evening read in part:
“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department expects all of its members to hold themselves to the highest ethical and professional standards at all times. Department members who engage in misconduct, especially criminal misconduct that preys on a vulnerable population, will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The statement also said that Sheriff Alex Villanueva is “appalled and saddened” by the allegations and said the department is committed to seeing justice be served.