Orange County deputy charged with molesting girl while on duty
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy was charged Thursday with molesting a girl while on duty.
Scott Cole, 41, of Hesperia, faces one felony count of sexual molestation, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office. If convicted, he faces up to three years in state prison.
On June 23, Cole responded to a report of jewelry stolen from a home in an unincorporated area near Tustin.
Prosecutors allege Cole first spoke with the girl’s mother and sister in the living room, then entered the girl’s bedroom and told her to take off some of her clothes. The deputy then returned to the living room for more conversation before re-entering the bedroom, closing the door and assaulting the girl, prosecutors said.
Cole’s Thursday arraignment in Santa Ana will continue on Friday. He has not yet entered a plea, said Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff for the Orange County district attorney's office. Cole was released without bail over the prosecutor's objections.
Investigators are urging parties with additional information about the case or other possible victims to contact supervising district attorney investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8794.
“This is an act that happened on duty and was pretty bold, with the mother standing right outside the room,” Schroeder said. “Under those circumstances, it’s not likely that something like this only happened once in his career. We also understand that victims of an assault may fear a police officer on duty and have felt scared to come forward before.”
-- Howard Blume