Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

A judge recently sentenced 26-year-old Jovanni Argueta, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, to three years in prison, 180 days in jail and five years’ probation for molesting a 12-year-old girl in Costa Mesa in 2015, officials confirmed Monday, according to the O.C. Register.



Argueta pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to lewd act with a minor, attempted sex with a minor and violation of a protective order. He was sentenced the same day. Unbelievably Argueta’s three-year prison sentence was suspended, according to the OCDA. And another count of contacting a minor with intent to commit a specified crime was dismissed as part of his plea deal.

Argueta must however register as a sex offender for the term of his probation. If Argueta violates probation, he will have to register as a sex offender for life. The court also ordered the ex-deputy to stay away from the now 13-year-old girl for 10 years.

Argueta met the girl via an unidentified online fantasy computer game. He allegedly molested her between May 1 and Oct. 22, 2015, meeting her at her school and off campus.

It was Argueta’s visits to the victim’s schools that led to his downfall. The Costa Mesa Police received a report on Oct. 22, 2015 about a suspicious man seen on the Costa Mesa Middle School campus. The man was gone when the police officers arrived but they later identified him as Argueta. He was arrested by the Costa Mesa Police six days later at a sheriff’s training facility in Whittier.

Then Argueta violated a protective order when he contacted the victim on or about Nov. 23, 2015. He appeared to have been obsessed with her.

Argueta was hired by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 21, 2014. But he was no longer working for them by March of 2016 as he apparently quit on March 18, 2016.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

6 thoughts on “Former L.A. County Deputy Sheriff sentenced for molesting a 12-year old Costa Mesa girl”
  1. OK, let me get this straight. This guy molested a 12 yr old girl for 5 mos. Gets arrested around Oct 28, 2015.. Violates an order and goes after this girl again in Nov 2015… And continues to work as a Deputy Sheriff for the next 4 mos an doesn’t get fired or even suspended but ends up quiting? And then is allowed to cop a plea and not only does he just get 3 yrs in prison but the 3 yrs are suspended? But wait, that’s not all.. He only has to register as a sex offender for the term of his probation, only? Then if he violates probation, he won’t have to serve those 3 yrs but gets to register as a sex offender for life? Question, when he violated the order and contacted his victim again, was his bail revoked and was he arrested and jailed again? The way this went, I doubt it.

    This is not only unbelievable but it’s disgusting and makes a mockery of our so-called “Justice System”… I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up continuing to pursue his victim and find other’s..

  2. Nothing more vague and absurd than the word “molesting”. It can entail handing a 14-year old out alone in public a piece of paper with your phone number.

    How about some real reporting here, instead of regurgitation and innuendo? “He appeared to have been obsessed with her.” Seriously???

    The upsetting part is that law enforcement continues to be held to a different standard than the average Joe. THAT is what is unbelievable.

    1. According to the OCDA the suspect wanted to have sex with her. They did not stipulate the level of molestation but the charges speak for themselves.

      I do agree with you that the suspect was judged differently most likely because he was part of law enforcement. It is definitely not fair.

  3. YOUR article reports (actual) molestation. DID he have sex with this girl, or did he WANT to (whatever that means?)

    I can find no OCDA press release. IF it was proven / he pleaded guilty to such an offense ((even attempted) 288(a) – lewd conduct with a minor) sex offender registration would be mandatory and not restricted to a probationary period. THAT is CA law – and that is all that speaks for itself.

    IF this man avoided that because of a background in law enforcement…. THAT would be an article worth writing. Otherwise – please get your facts straight.

    1. There was no OCDA release. We provided a link back to the OC Register’s article. Go read it and you will see that the OCDA did indeed allege that the perp wanted to have sex with the girl.

      He made a plea deal and got off easy. Most likely because he was in law enforcement.

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