L.A. County sheriff’s deputy suspected of sexually abusing O.C. girl, 12

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A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a 12-year-old Costa Mesa Middle School student he met online.

Jovanni Argueta, 26, of Los Angeles got to know the girl about a year ago through a computer game, Costa Mesa police said.

Authorities said Argueta began meeting with the girl, who is now 13, on the school campus and elsewhere. At least some of those meetings are believed to have involved sexual acts, police said.


The investigation began after Costa Mesa Middle School staff called police Oct. 22 to report a man on campus whom they didn’t recognize, Lt. Greg Scott said.

Detectives were able to identify the man as Argueta and uncover the allegations of abuse, the department said in a statement.

The man seen on campus was not in uniform the day school staff reported him, said Scott, who added he didn’t know whether Argueta was ever on duty during the alleged meetings with the girl.

With the cooperation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Costa Mesa officers arrested Argueta on Wednesday at a Sheriff’s Department training facility in Whittier, Scott said.

He is being held on suspicion of child molestation and child annoyance with bail set at $100,000.


Dobruck writes for Times Community News.

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