Five women have filed lawsuits against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Alleging sexual assault by Deputy Giancarlo Scotti while they were being held at a women’s jail, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In a case filed Friday, two of the women claimed the department fostered an unsafe environment by failing to implement federal standards that would protect female inmates from sexual harassment and abuse in jail, according to the newspaper.
Scotti, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty in March to sex-related counts involving a half-dozen female inmates in a Lynwood jail over a six-month period last year.
Scotti, 31, is accused of engaging in unlawful sex acts with the prisoners at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood between March and September of 2017.
He was charged with six felony counts of sexual activity with a detainee in a detention facility and two misdemeanor counts of sexual activity with a detainee in a detention facility.
In one instance, Scotti allegedly ordered two cellmates to perform oral sex on him. He later took the women to a shower area, where he allegedly had unlawful sexual intercourse with both of them, according to Deputy District Attorney Hyunah Suh.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told reporters in September 2017 that Scotti had been placed on administrative leave in connection with the allegations involving two female inmates. The sheriff said then that at least one of the women reported the alleged crime about 9 a.m. Sept. 13, 2017 to a teaching instructor who works inside the jail.
McDonnell said an investigation began immediately, with the scene being locked down to preserve evidence and the deputy being notified and remaining in the watch commander’s office until 2 that afternoon and then being taken into custody that evening.
“The evidence was compelling enough for us to make the arrest,” the sheriff told reporters after Scotti’s arrest last September.
Scotti — who is free on $400,000 bond — could face up to seven years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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