Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy Sean Essex was first arrested on charges of child molestation in 2006 but the district attorney dismissed the case for unstated reasons.
This week, Essex was indicted on on charges of molesting three other girls between the ages of seven and 13, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
And this time, the the district attorney’s office is choosing to prosecute the recent cases as well as the one in 2006 that had been dismissed.
The district attorney’s office did not provide an explanation as to why it did not prosecute Essex in 2006 but we can assume it was the usual Blue Privilege, especially considering it was a time before smartphones and social media allowed the public to hold police accountable for their crimes.
As a result, three other girls were molested over a nine-year period beginning in 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times which spoke to the attorney representing the girls.
Essex, 51, was also fired from the sheriff’s department in 2018 for unspecified reasons while working for the department’s Training Bureau where he was responsible for training new recruits but the county’s Civil Service Commission overturned the termination, according to the Times.
The three latest victims were the daughters of a woman with whom he was in a relationship. The mother who filed the report against him in April described him as a “father figure” to the girls.
Essex remained close to the girls even after he was no longer in a relationship with their mother.
“He would pick up the girls individually in his L.A. County sheriff’s patrol vehicle, and he would take the girls and he would abuse them in the patrol car,” Spencer Lucas, the family’s attorney, told the Times.
On several occasions, he would sexually abuse the girls in his patrol car in the parking lot of the sheriffs department.
“This is one of the most egregious crimes my office encounters and it is made worse when the crime is committed by someone who has been entrusted to protect them and our community from harm,” said L.A. District Attorney George Gascón.
In 2006, the district attorney was Steve Cooley who that year was criticized for being soft of sex offenders, according to Wikipedia.
In 2006, Cooley was the most notable law enforcement official to publicly oppose Proposition 83, better known as “Jessica’s Law,” a measure named after Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old who was raped and murdered by a paroled sex offender in Florida. Cooley criticized Jessica’s Law as being “not carefully crafted,” adding that “Not liking sex offenders is a good thing and a popular thing, but when you are creating something to deal with them you have to think it through.” California voters passed Proposition 83 with 70.5% of the vote.
Just a week before the 2008 election that he ultimately won, Cooley was attacked for violating Jessica’s Law and making a deal with defense attorneys and judges to postpone seeking tougher sanctions against a group of serious sex offenders that had completed their prison terms. Rather than seeking indefinite hospitalization for some offenders, as allowed under a November 2006 ballot measure, Cooley only sought two years.
Essex, who remains jailed without bail, was charged with 18 counts of oral copulation of a child, 12 counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 and one count of possession of material depicting a child sex act.
The deputy who last year made $164,385, has pleaded not guilty.