A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been arrested for allegedly meeting a girl online when she was 12 and rendezvousing with her over the next year for sexual acts on and off the campus of her Costa Mesa middle school, according to police.
Jovanni Argueta, 26, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of child annoyance and molestation Wednesday in Whittier, where he works, with the assistance of his own sheriff's department, according to lieutenants Paul Beckman and Greg Scott of the Costa Mesa Police Department.
Last Thursday afternoon, October 22, Costa Mesa cops were notified by staff from Costa Mesa Middle School about a suspicious male adult seen on the campus at 2650 Fairview Drive, but by the time officers arrived the stranger was gone, the lieutenants said.
Further investigation determined Argueta 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, the police officials say.
"Argueta reportedly performed sexual acts with the girl," Scott and Beckman say in a release. "Argueta would meet the girl both on campus and away from school."
The deputy made his $100,000 bail and was released from Orange County Jail this afternoon.