RANCHO CUCAMONGA – A county deputy sheriff, suspected of having consensual sex with an inmate, was taken into custody himself on Thursday afternoon.
Armando John Espinoza, 45, who was hired as a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy in 2006, was being held at the West Valley Detention Center after being arrested for the single count.
Allegations surfaced on Tuesday when the sheriff’s department received information of possible sexual misconduct, that had occurred while Espinoza was on duty, with a female out-of-custody work release inmate
In a prepared release, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said, “This criminal conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Upon learning of the allegations, investigators quickly began an internal criminal investigation, identifying Espinoza as a suspect. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of both the criminal and administrative investigations. The victim’s name was not released; nor was any information disclosed about the victim’s criminal background.
The Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights, a law that protects the privacy of those involved in personnel actions said the sheriff’s department, “does not allow the department to release details of the department’s internal investigation into this matter.”
Espinoza, who was released from custody early Friday morning, is facing one count of sexual contact with a consenting inmate, actions that are deemed illegal. According to jail records, his bail was set at $50,000.