By Vanguard Staff
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Two female inmates at Theo Lacy Facility in Orange County here were sexually assaulted by an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in an announcement late last week.
Arcadio Rodriguez, 30, of Stanton, entered a plea of not guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, misdemeanor for a detention facility employee engaging in sexual activity with a confined consenting adult and a misdemeanor for possession of a cell phone in a correctional facility, said the DA’s Office in a statement.
Stanton faces up to 18 months in county jail if convicted of all counts.
“The wellbeing of people incarcerated in our jails is an incredible responsibility that goes far beyond the simple minimum of physical safety,” said OC DA Todd Spitzer. “Whether they are awaiting trial or are serving their sentence, inmates are completely dependent on Sheriff’s deputies and other jail staff for everything from food and medication to clothing.
“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,” said Spitzer, who added he’s seeking to change a state law that requires prosecutors to charge detention sexual activity only as a misdemeanor. He wants the law to provide a felony or misdemeanor charge.
Spitzer added, “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.”
According to the DA Office official statement, the deputy sexually assaulted the inmates on “multiple occasions by touching them over their jail uniforms and showing them pornographic videos of himself while they were in their housing locations” beginning in May of 2022.
The OC Sheriff’s Dept said it began an investigation “after discovering communications regarding inappropriate sexual behavior between by a deputy toward a female inmate.”