Jovanni Argueta, Deputy Accused Last Month of Molesting Girl, Sparks New School Lockdown
Jovanni Argueta made his $100,000 bail last month and is out of custody.
Costa Mesa Police Department
Costa Mesa High School was reportedly put on lockdown this morning after someone thought they saw a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy suspected of molesting a middle school student near campus.
Costa Mesa Police were called around 8 a.m. to the school's north parking lot, and Principal Jacob Haley started emergency procedures that included sending an alert to parents stating their children were safe, the Orange County Register reports.
Although suspect Jovanni Argueta was not reported to be on campus itself, "and had later been seen leaving the parking lot, the entire campus was placed on lockdown as a precaution," reads the alert to parents.
The campus reopened at 9 a.m. to normal operations.
Argueta, 26, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of child annoyance and molestation on Oct. 28--or six days after Costa Mesa Police were notified by staff from Costa Mesa Middle School about a suspicious male adult seen on the campus at 2650 Fairview Drive. The high school and middle school are adjacent to one another.
Further investigation determined Argueta, a sheriff's deputy, was that male, that he and a 13-year-old female student from the middle school originally met online a year earlier through an interactive (Internet-based) fantasy computer game, and that starting at age 12 she had met with the adult several times over the course of the year, police said at the time.
Argueta, who was released from jail after making his $100,000 bail, is accused of performing sexual acts with the girl on campus and away from school.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.