Deputy in Southern California accused of sexually assaulting female inmates

A deputy in Southern California is accused of sexually assaulting two female inmates at an Orange County Jail, authorities said.

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Arcadio Rodriguez, 30, a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested Friday on suspicion of felony sexual activity between a peace officer and an inmate in a jail facility, The Orange County Register reported.

He was booked into the Santa Ana Jail, KCBS-TV reported. He was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, the Register reported. In a news release, the sheriff’s office said Rodriguez is being terminated from his position.

According to the sheriff’s office, the alleged sexual assaults began in May, KTLA-TV reported. Authorities alleged that Rodriguez touched the women in a sexual manner over their clothes and showed them pornographic videos, according to the television station.

Rodriguez was placed on leave a day after the sheriff’s office learned about communications intercepted by jail staff describing the misconduct, the Register reported. The sheriff’s office did not reveal the type of communication that was confiscated.

In addition to the felony charges, Rodriguez also was charged with assault under the color of authority and possession of a cellphone in a custody facility. Both are misdemeanors.

Rodriguez has been with the sheriff’s department since September 2021, according to the Register.

“The suspected criminal actions of this deputy are inexcusable, especially for a person who swore to serve and protect our community,” Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement. “One of our most important duties is to provide for the care and wellbeing of the people in our jails. Any betrayal of that responsibility is not indicative of the environment in our jails, or reflective of the hard work of hundreds of deputies and professional staff in custody operations every day.”

The case will be forwarded to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution and the Office of Independent Review also will investigate, the newspaper reported.

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