Posted: 06/09/2011 04:15:47 PM PDT
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.—A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy has been charged with having sex with an underage girl in a mentorship program.
Authorities say Deputy Anthony Benjamin was charged Thursday with two counts of oral copulation of a person under age 18.
The 17-year-old girl Benjamin is accused of having sex with was a part of the Explorer program, which gives law enforcement training to 245 students between 14 1/2 and 21 years of age. The alleged incidents occurred during ride-alongs.
Posted: 06/08/2011 05:36:36 PM PDT
A San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputy accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl no longer works for the department, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Former Highland deputy Nathan Gastineau, 30, of Redlands, was arrested April 22 after allegations that he had sex with the girl, a member of the Highland police Explorer post he led.
Bachman could not comment on whether Gastineau retired or was fired, saying that information is part of his confidential personnel file.
The San Benardino County District Attorney's Office had not yet filed charges against Gastineau as of Wednesday afternoon, said spokeswoman Susan Mickey.
Gastineau was the first of two deputies to be arrested on suispicion of having sexual relationships with underage Explorers in a two-week period.
Victorville deputy Anthony Benjamin, 30, was arrested May 5 and accused of conducting sex acts with a 17-year-old Explorer while on duty in his patrol car.
Benjamin was still employed by the department as of Wednesday afternoon but is still on unpaid administrative leave, Bachman said.
Benjamin has not yet been charged by the District Attorney's Office, Mickey said. He is out on bail.
Sheriff Rod Hoops said in May that the entire Explorer program would be reviewed and overhauled after news surfaced of Benjamin's alleged relationship with the 17-year-old girl.
Though Gastineau and Benjamin allegedly had sexual relationships with different girls, a Rialto man was jailed in April on suspicion that he had sex with the same 16-year-old as Gastineau.
Jason Anguiano, 27, who is not a deputy, is accused of having sex with the same girl. Investigators served a search warrant April 25 at his home looking for a receipt for a stay at a Redlands hotel and found it, according to court documents.
Gastineau's arraignment is scheduled for June 27. Anguiano's will be June 28. Benjamin's is scheduled for July 6.
All three arraignments will be in San Bernardino Superior Court.
June 9, 2011 12:45 PM
The second of two deputy sheriffs arrested on suspicion of having sex with underage female Explorer scouts will be prosecuted on felony criminal charges San Bernardino County District Attorney's officials announced today.
Prosecutors today filed two counts of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18 against 30-year-old Deputy Anthony James Benjamin of Beaumont. The five-year sheriff's veteran is scheduled to be arraigned July 6 in Victorville where he was assigned.
The victim is 18, but was 17 when the alleged crimes were committed beginning last July, according to the charges.
Benjamin is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a departmental investigation, said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. Deputy Nathan James Gastineau, of Redlands, the other deputy involved, was arrested April 22 for investigation of committing a lewd act with a 16-year-old girl.
Gastineau's employment with the department ended yesterday, Bachman said. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 27 in San Bernardino Superior Court. A 10-year sheriff's veteran, Gastineau supervised the Highland station's Explorer program. Last month, Sheriff Rod Hoops suspended the ride-along program for at least 60 days pending a review of the Explorer program, including the training, evaluation and selection of the deputies who supervise it.