SAN BERNARDINO – Jurors convicted a former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy on multiple counts of unlawful sex with an underage girl, plus another count of possessing child pornography on Wednesday.
Nathan Gastineau, 31, who was charged with 16 counts of unlawful sex – seven additional charges brought during the trial – with a teenage Explorer Scout, could be facing 13 years in state prison, a sentence that is scheduled for Feb. 28. Gastineau met the girl, who was then 15, at the Highland sheriff’s substation in 2010. He was the supervisor of the county sheriff’s Explorer Scout program, an opportunity for youths designed to learn about law enforcement careers. During the trial, the unidentified woman – who is now over 18 – testified that they had sex at his Redlands apartment that averaged once a week from October 2010 to April 2011.
Part of the evidence against Gastineau, who pleaded not guilty, was the discovery of a videotape of the two having sex. On the witness stand, Gastineau admitted to having sex with the girl on just one occasion, when she was 16. The breakdown of the charges included six counts of lewd acts with a child when the girl was 15, 10 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor when the girl was 16 and one count of possessing child pornography.
Judge William Powell denied Gastineau’s continued freedom on $350,000 bail, instead remanding him to the sheriff’s custody. He will be required to register as a sex offender.
Gastineau’s defense attorney, Andrew Haynal, says he plans an appeal.
During the time leading up to the trial, Gastineau’s bail was increased from $150,000 to $350,000 when another judge was presented with a social media posting in which he wrote about “revenge” and “payback.” (See Huffington Post link for full text.) At the time, Superior court Judge John Martin determined the postings were threatening which led to the increased bail.
Press Enterprise: Ex-Highland deputy convicted of sex with teen girl
Huffington Post: Nathan Gastineau, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy, Pleads Not Guilty