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L.A. County sheriff’s deputy under investigation after sex act is caught on hot mic

by Richard Winton
A view of Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a deputy for allegedly engaging in a sex act during a break and broadcasting the tryst over her radio, officials said Thursday

A short audio recording first made public by TMZ captured part of the alleged encounter. In it, a woman laughs and says, “You’re going to rip my underwear!” A man replies and a beep common on police radios sounds.

A source familiar with the investigation, who requested anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, said the woman’s voice belongs to a rookie deputy assigned to the downtown jail complex that includes the Men’s Central Jail and that she rendezvoused with her paramour in a parking structure during a break period.

Investigators are looking into whether the man is also a Sheriff’s Department employee.

Sex on the job is a serious, though not entirely uncommon, offense for law enforcement agencies, and the incident presents newly elected Sheriff Robert Luna with an early and unwelcome chance to see the department’s discipline system at work. If investigators find the deputy violated the agency’s rules for conduct, she could be suspended or fired.

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is aware of a potential incident involving personnel possibly involved in inappropriate behavior,” the agency said in a statement. “The Department is inquiring and investigating further. The department does not tolerate inappropriate behavior and has an expectation that each department member will conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with our values.”

The unnamed deputy is not the first in the sheriff’s department to be caught in the act by a hot mic.

Earlier in the pandemic, a male deputy inside a closed Universal Studios theme park transmitted the soundtrack of an amorous recording with a woman. The couple were reportedly near the set of the Bates Motel from the film “Psycho,” according to TMZ. As the radio captured moaning and panting sounds, a dispatcher tried to interrupt the pair to inform the deputy his radio was on.

“95 Ocean, you have an open mic, take care of the mic,” the dispatcher snapped in an angry tone when the sounds of the frolicking grew louder before suddenly cutting off. The deputy was relieved of duty, and the department moved to fire him in 2021 following an internal investigation, according to law enforcement sources. It is not known whether the deputy ultimately lost his job.

In 2018, Jorge Villegas, an assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department and one of Chief Michel Moore’s closest advisors, retired suddenly after a department surveillance operation caught him engaging in conduct that sources said may have violated the department’s policy against intimate relationships with lower-ranking officers.

Villegas left a bar with the woman and got into a car with her, according to several sources. The undercover officers then witnessed the pair engaging in what appeared to be a sexual activity, the sources said. The officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.


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