A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday on suspicion of child sex abuse, authorities said.
Sean Jerome Essex, 51, was booked into jail at 11:10 a.m., records show. He was released at 4 p.m. on $100,000 bail.
Essex was arrested on suspicion of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, and committing oral copulation with a child under the age of 14, according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators with the department’s Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau and Special Victims Bureau started looking into the deputy after receiving a report of suspected child abuse, the agency said.
The Sheriff’s Department did not say when the investigation started.
Further information — including how long Essex was a deputy; what his last assignment was; whether he’s been placed on leave, fired or other action taken; and details about the tip that sparked the investigation — was not available Friday night.
In a statement, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he was “appalled and saddened” by the allegations and is committed to seeing justice served.
“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,” according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.
Last year, another L.A County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on similar charges.
Anthony Heriberto Galindo, of Rancho Cucamonga, was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl and arrested in late August, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Galindo was relieved of his duties and his peace officer powers were suspended following his arrest, according to an LASD statement at the time.