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Sheriff's Deputy Arrested, Accused Of Raping Two Female Inmates

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A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was taken into custody Wednesday and now faces two criminal counts of rape under color of authority and oral copulation under color of authority. The two alleged victims are women at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, where the deputy is on staff.

The deputy, 31-year-old Giancarlo Scotti, was arrested while on duty Wednesday. He later posted bail that was set at $100,000. His hearing is scheduled for October 5, and he will remain a paid employee until the hearing.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell described the crime as "horrific," "egregious," and "disgusting" during a press conference Thursday morning. "It is the moral duty to assure our public and inmates in our care that we take these allegations very seriously," he said. He was unable to discuss some of the facts surrounding the investigation, as it is newly under way, but he describes the investigation as being "thorough and robust."

The deputy allegedly committed the crime in the early hours of Wednesday morning. General protocol for the facility says that all male custody officials must be accompanied by a female custody official when entering a cell in the female custodial environment. Scotti violated this protocol and entered the cell alone, said McDonnell. One of the victims reported the event around 9 a.m. to a supervisor on the teaching staff, and a lockdown of the scene followed in order to preserve evidence. Supervisors at the facility initially led the response before formal investigators arrived.

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Scotti was said to be unarmed. McDonnell noted that, regardless of the situation, inmates cannot legally consent to sexual acts because of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

McDonnell declined to speak on Scotti's history within the department, and didn't release the ages and reasons for imprisonment of the alleged victims. McDonnell described the duties of the deputies as "overseeing the care and custody of inmates at the Century Region jail."

"It's disgusting to me," McDonnell said. "These types of things happen in custodial environments across the country and around the world, but it's awful each time you hear about it. These people are in our care and custody and hopefully they leave in better condition than when they're brought into our custody. It's appalling and disgusting to all of us and especially to anyone who wears a badge."

The detention facility can house 2,100 inmates, according to NBC, and is the jail for female bookings at the Compton and Century LAPD stations.