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Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Sheriff's Deputy Accused Of Raping Female Inmates

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Lynwood Correctional Facility (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
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The same L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested last month on suspicion of sexually assaulting two women inside a Lynwood jail is now facing a civil rights lawsuit stemming from what appear to be two additional sexual assault allegations.

The federal civil rights lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleges that in August, Giancarlo Scotti approached a pregnant woman inmate inside her jail cell at the Century Regional Detention Facility, exposed his genitals to her, and forced her to perform oral sex on him, the L.A. Times reports. A second woman included in the lawsuit alleges that Scotti sexually assaulted her in a shower stall on September 12, just a day before his arrest. Both women have since been released from custody and allege that they were penalized by jail staff after they spoke to investigators about Scotti, according to the Times.

In a statement on Wednesday to LAist, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said detectives with its Criminal Investigations Bureau have interviewed 150 witnesses and gathered additional evidence during its ongoing criminal investigation related to the allegations. “Any allegation of predatory behavior within our custody environment is taken very seriously,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “Sheriff Jim McDonnell continues to emphasize that, ‘Criminal misconduct, especially criminal misconduct that preys upon a vulnerable population, will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.'"

The department says it’s aware of a case involving three victims that was submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration on October 4, but it’s unclear whether this is the same case that was filed on Tuesday. The department declined to comment, citing its ongoing investigation, “However, we can state that the arrest of Deputy Giancarlo Scotti, a 31-year-old, ten-year veteran of the Department on September 13, 2017, was made within hours of the initial complaint.”

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At a press conference held last month, Sheriff McDonnell called Scotti’s alleged crimes “horrific” and said the department had a public obligation to pursue the evidence in the case, according to Southern California News Group. Scotti was released on $100,000 bail and placed on paid administrative leave at the time.

The lawsuit against Scotti was filed amid protests by anti-incarceration activists against the county’s proposed expansion of several jails, including the construction of a new women’s facility in Lancaster that would replace the current one in Lynwood. o