A California sheriff’s deputy is accused of harming at least six female inmates in his jail.
Giancarlo Scotti, 31, of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, faces charges associated with unlawful sexual acts carried out against female inmates at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, reports NBC Los Angeles. According to the L.A. Times, Scotti faces six felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.
Last year, two women filed federal civil rights lawsuits against the department in connection with the sexual assaults. They described Scotti as a “cool” guard who was also overly flirtatious.
Among his many crimes, Scotti is accused of ordering at least two cellmates to perform oral sex on him. He then took them to a shower to have “unlawful” intercourse with them. According to state and federal law, inmates do not possess the ability to consent to any sexual activity with a deputy.
A pregnant inmate also said she felt as though “she had no other choice but to comply with Deputy Scotti’s forcible commands” when he ordered her to perform oral sex on him.
A few of the women reported retaliation from the staff when they attempted to speak up.
Another inmate said Scotti sexually assaulted her in the shower. After the assault, she saved some DNA from the interaction on a tissue to present as evidence.
“Sheriff’s Deputy Giancarlo Scotti never sexually assaulted anybody,” argued his lawyer, Anthony Falangetti.
However, Sheriff Jim McDonnell argued that in a number of instances, Scotti was able to find ways where he could “put himself in a place where he was alone” with the women who have come forward.
“This case represents the worst of the worst in terms of law enforcement abuse by an individual that was actually tasked with protecting these women,” said Justin Sterling, who is representing two of the women in the case. “It’s the start of the process that ultimately gets them one step closer to justice.”
If convicted of all charges, he faces up to seven years and four months in a state prison.