Baca

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca at a Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this year. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Join Los Angeles Times staff writers Robert Faturechi and Jack Leonard for an L.A. Now Live discussion at 9 a.m. Tuesday on the arrests of Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials as part of a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct inside the county’s jails.

Eighteen current or former L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials have been indicted in five separate criminal cases. 

The four grand jury indictments unsealed Monday and one criminal complaint allege that deputies beat jail inmates and visitors without justification, unjustly detained people and conspired to obstruct a federal investigation into misconduct at the Men's Central Jail.  

Sixteen of the defendants were arrested Monday for arraignment in federal court.

Charges in the indictments range from conspiracy and obstruction of justice to improperly arresting and searching visitors to the jails.

In one of the cases, deputies allegedly improperly arrested and searched the consul general of Austria and her husband during a visit to an inmate who was an Austrian national.  

One of the indictments details three separate incidents in which prosecutors alleged that a sheriff's sergeant encouraged deputies he supervised at the visiting area of Men's Central Jail to use excessive force and unlawful arrests of visitors.

Questions for the live chat can be submitted to @lanow, by commenting on this post or by joining the discussion at 9 a.m.