Deputy charged in sexual torture

Times Staff Writers

After tricking his wife into introducing him to her lover, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy held the couple captive overnight at an Irvine apartment complex where he beat them, forced them to undress at knife point and ordered the woman to castrate her younger suitor, authorities alleged Wednesday.

Deputy Robert A. McClain then allegedly sodomized his wife and chopped off her hair with the knife, Orange County prosecutors said as they announced the filing of mayhem, torture and sexual assault charges against the 34-year-old ex-Marine, who faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

Prosecutors said the nine-hour ordeal began about 10 p.m. Sunday when McClain’s wife told him she was leaving him for the younger man, whom she met while working in the leasing office of the apartment complex where he lives.

McClain then used a ruse to persuade his 31-year-old wife to introduce him to the 23-year-old man, said Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas.


After arriving at the young man’s apartment, the deputy led the victims to a back kitchenette area in the nearby leasing office, where he started to argue with them and attack them, authorities said.

“McClain is accused of taking out a knife and forcing both victims to undress,” according to the district attorney’s statement. McClain, who also disrobed, “is accused of unsuccessfully ordering [his wife] to orally copulate both him and [the other man],” the statement added.

McClain then ordered his wife to castrate the younger man, and she “fearfully pretended to follow his instructions,” the statement said. Schroeder said there were several puncture wounds in the man’s groin area, including on his testicles.

After slashing the man’s face with the knife, prosecutors said, McClain fled the scene, forcing his wife to go with him.


McClain then forcibly sodomized his wife, chopped off her hair with the knife, and ultimately drove her back to their Irvine home, prosecutors allege. About 5 a.m. Monday, the wife was able to leave the house with her four children and drive to a nearby hospital to get treatment, authorities said.

A cleaning crew discovered the young man in the leasing office about two hours later and called 911.

The young man’s aunt, Nancy Smith, said she was stunned by what befell her nephew, an aspiring singer and songwriter who worked as a salesman at a Jos. A. Bank store in Orange County.

“I think my nephew came across pure evil,” she said in a telephone interview from Florida. “It is hard to believe that there is that much anger and hate in someone.”


The young man’s father said earlier this week that he had warned his son about getting involved with a married woman, but that he didn’t listen. The father, who visited his son in the hospital, said his son would require surgery for a “complete facial reconstruction.”

Both the young man and McClain’s wife remained hospitalized as of Wednesday afternoon.

The woman’s sister, who drove from Arizona to take care of the couple’s children, said they had been married for years and she knew of no previous trouble between them.

“I have always seen him as a good person. So this is very hard to believe. He adores his children. They were his life,” said the woman, who declined to provide her name.


McClain, who worked as a guard at the county jail in downtown Los Angeles, resigned from the Sheriff’s Department Wednesday afternoon, said Steve Whitmore, a sheriff’s spokesman. McClain had not had any disciplinary problems since graduating from the Sheriff’s Academy in March, Whitmore said.

McClain suffered minor injuries in the attack and will be arraigned at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach when his medical treatment is completed, prosecutors said. He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail.



Times staff writer Tony Barboza contributed to this report.