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An Orange County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexually abusing a minor, authorities said Saturday.

Wilbert Dale Garcia, 49, was taken into custody about 4 p.m. Friday during a traffic stop at Washington Avenue and Nutmeg Street in Murrieta, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies were present at the arrest. Garcia was placed on administrative leave. He is accused of raping a child under 14 and of continual sexual abuse of a child. Other details of the accusations were not released.


“It’s disturbing when anyone gets arrested for the crimes alleged, but it’s especially more disturbing when that person is a law enforcement officer,” Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Wildomar investigators are looking for other possible victims. Anyone with information can call (951) 245-3300.

-- Ruben Vives