A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded no contest Thursday to sex-related charges involving six female inmates in a Lynwood jail.
On his 33rd birthday, Giancarlo Scotti agreed to accept Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn’s offer of a two-year state prison term in exchange for his plea to 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 jail facility.
Deputy District Attorney Hyunah Suh — who was seeking a three-year state prison sentence — objected to the lower term, telling the judge that the inmates felt they were in a position where they had no choice or were in a vulnerable state although there was no physical restraint or force involved in the crimes.
But the judge said she believed the two-year term was the appropriate “punishment” for Scotti, who she noted had lost his job and admitted responsibility early on in the case.
The charges involved six women who were in custody at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood between August and September 2017.
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told reporters that fall that Scotti had been placed on administrative leave in connection with allegations involving two female inmates. The sheriff said then that at least one of the women reported the 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 then-sheriff told reporters after Scotti’s arrest.
Scotti was subsequently freed on bond, and the criminal charges involving the six female inmates were filed against him in February 2018.
He remains free on bond while awaiting sentencing Sept. 26 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.