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Probation Officer In L.A. County Accused Of Sexually Abusing Jailed Youth 

A #LosAngeles County probation officer was apprehended on March 7 for allegations of engaging in sexual activities with a minor at a juvenile facility. Identified by police sources as 51-year-old Rafaela Martinez, she faces charges including sex with an inmate, arranging a lewd meeting with a minor, and smuggling contraband into jail. The arrest followed the discovery of a cellphone with intimate texts and photos between Martinez and a detained youth at the Dorothy Kirby Center. The probation department's investigation uncovered these communications, some of which occurred during work hours and included sexually explicit images.

Martinez, who worked in detention services, also allegedly brought a cellphone and prescription medication into the jail. Although a case has yet to be presented to the L.A. County district attorney’s office, the incident has drawn sharp criticism from county leaders, calling for a swift investigation and highlighting the need for a clean-up within a probation department riddled with scandals and a history of misconduct.

“Information supported by a warrant led investigators to communications between the detained youth and Probation Officer,” the statement from the probation department read. “Some of these communications appeared to have occurred while the employee was at work and there were photos that are sexual in nature.”

This arrest is part of broader issues within the department, which has faced staffing crises and closures of facilities by state oversight boards. Additionally, there's an ongoing investigation into another sexual misconduct allegation involving a different probation officer at Los Padrinos juvenile hall, marking a troubling pattern of accusations against the department's officers.

Link: LA Times


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