LA County Sheriff's Deputy Accused of Sex Acts With Minor

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was arrested on suspicion of engaging in sex acts with a 12-year-old girl he allegedly met through an online game, authorities said.

Jovanni Argueta, 26, was arrested Wednesday at his job in Whittier by Costa Mesa Police Department.

Police were notified Oct. 22 by school officials at Costa Mesa Middle School that a suspicious adult male was on campus and being uncooperative with school staff, according to the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Officers arrived but the man, later identified as Argueta, left before they arrived, police said.

Costa Mesa Police Department conducted an investigation and learned Argueta was a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. Police said Argueta met the girl last year through an online fantasy-based computer game. Argueta met the girl in person in January, police said.

Police said they learned Argueta and the girl, who is now 13, began having a sexual relationship.

Argueta was hired as a deputy in August of 2014 and was assigned to the Custody Services Division, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Argueta was relieved of duty pending the outcome of a criminal investigation, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released a statement that said, in part, "Allegations of this magnitude are disturbing and disappointing. Any proven criminal, or other acts of misconduct that violate public trust will not be tolerated and immediate appropriate remedies will be taken by the Department as permitted by law."

Argueta was released from jail on $100,000 bail.

It was unclear if Argueta had an attorney.

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