L.A. County sheriff’s psychologist accused of child sex crimes

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department psychologist was charged Monday with multiple felony counts of molesting a young boy and girl, prosecutors said.

Michael Dane Ward, 44, is accused of molesting a 9-year-old boy from August 2014 to March 31, 2016, and a 10-year-old girl from August 2015 to March, 31, 2016.

The allegations are unrelated to his work, where he advised law enforcement and helped train deputies, officials said. He was taken into custody Thursday by the sheriff’s Special Victims Unit, sheriff’s Capt. Chris Reed said.

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Ward is charged with a total of 10 felonies, including four counts of committing a lewd act on a child, two counts of committing a forcible lewd act on a child under 14, three counts of forcible oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years old or younger and one count of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years or younger.

He was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in a downtown L.A. courtroom. Prosecutors will ask that he be held in lieu of $2.6-million bail.

Ward was relieved of duty when he was arrested, officials said. If convicted of all the charges, Ward could face up to life in state prison.

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