Six Probation Officers Face Prison Sentences for Unlawfully Pepper-Spraying Teen Girls
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office recently charged six L.A. County probation officers with unlawfully using pepper spray against five teenage girls housed at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall last year.
The defendants, five women and one man, work as detention services officers. On six occasions between April and July of 2018, they either allegedly used pepper spray wrongfully or prevented the victims from being decontaminated after they were sprayed. Having made their initial court appearance, the six are scheduled to return on May 23rd for arraignment in Department 40 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
In case BA476681, Marlene Rochelle Wilson is facing a maximum sentence of eight years and eight months in state prison if convicted on five felony counts of assault by a public officer and three misdemeanor counts of child abuse. Janeth Vilchez is charged with one count each of assault by a public officer and child abuse, which could lead to a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
In case BA476688, LaCour Harrison could do up to four years in prison if convicted of one count of felony assault by a public officer and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to child by endangering her health. Claudette Reynolds faces three-and-a-half years if found guilty of one count each of assault by a public officer and cruelty to a child by endangering her health. Maria Asuzena Guerrero and Karnesha Marshall are both charged with one count of cruelty to a child by endangering her health — and could be sentenced to up to six months in jail.
Jail terms for all six would be served in local custody.
Deputy District Attorneys Kaveh Faturechi and Oscar Plascencia of the Justice System Integrity Division will prosecute the cases, which remain under investigation by the Los Angeles County Probation Department.