Child abuse investigator allegedly sexually assaulted mother whose child's safety was at issue [Updated]
Police were preparing Wednesday to arrest a Los Angeles County child abuse investigator after authorities said they found evidence that he sexually assaulted the mother of a child whose safety he was assigned to assess.
The mother was being investigated after an arrest on shoplifting charges in September. Authorities said she reported that she told Department of Children and Family Services employee Yadullah “Eddie” Lorghaba that she would do anything to keep her child with her.
At that point, she told investigators, Lorghaba took her to a room where the alleged assault took place. Los Angeles police discovered Lorghaba's DNA in saliva found on the woman's bra, according to county records, and he is expected to be charged with sexual assault by color of authority.
Norma Eisenman, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the case is being handled by the department’s Topanga station. She was unsure, however, when and where Lorghaba was expected to surrender.
[Updated at 2:50 p.m.: Lorghaba was arrested at 11 a.m. at Van Nuys Superior Court and booked into county jail at noon, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records. He is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.]
Lorghaba was originally scheduled to surrender to authorities on Tuesday under an agreement worked out by his attorney but it was postponed for unknown reasons. Lorghaba, 53, of Valley Village, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Lorghaba is a 12-year veteran of the department who was most recently assigned to the West San Fernando office.
After the alleged sexual assault on Sept. 18, he was placed on desk duty. On Tuesday he was placed on a 30-day unpaid administrative leave.
The department said it has received no prior complaints about his performance or conduct, but officials are now working with police to determine if he has victimized others.
The department’s internal affairs unit, however, has already found serious problems in his management of cases involving abused and neglected children. In three instances, the unit believes he falsified investigation reports, according to county records.
-- Garrett Therolf
Photo: Yadullah “Eddie” Lorghaba. Authorities released his photo in an effort to reach anyone who may have been victimized by him. Credit: LAPD