An Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy has been charged after allegedly sexually assaulting two inmates and directing them to engage in sexual activity while he worked at the jail, officials said.

Arcadio Rodriguez, 30, of Stanton, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, being a detention facility employee engaging in sexual activity with a confined consenting adult and possession of a cell phone in a correctional facility, all misdemeanors.

He is accused of building an inappropriate relationship with the female inmates who were incarcerated at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Rodriguez allegedly sexually assaulted them on multiple occasions dating back to May 2022 by touching them over their jail uniforms and showing them pornographic videos of himself while they were in their cells.

He was arrested after an investigation by his own department.

Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in the Orange County jail if convicted as charged.

“The wellbeing of people incarcerated in our jails is an incredible responsibility that goes far beyond the simple minimum of physical safety,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “To have a sworn deputy sheriff betray his oath of office to serve and protect by preying on vulnerable incarcerated individuals for his own sexual gratification is appalling. These women were awaiting trial and had no way of escaping a predator who literally held the keys to their captivity and directed them to perform sexual acts at his every whim. This is an embarrassment to the badge and to all the hardworking law enforcement professionals who carry out their duties lawfully each and every day.”