Friday, April 04, 2008

On-Duty Sheriff Dead After Molestation Charges Surface

On-Duty Sheriff Dead After Molestation Charges Surface

April 3, 2008

Gerald Stenger, 41, Aliso Viejo, an on-duty deputy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) was found dead yesterday after charges were filed against him for molesting a 12-year-old boy for two years more than a decade ago after meeting the victim and his older brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.
Stenger, was charged yesterday morning with one felony count of lewd acts on a child under 14 and one felony count with a sentencing enhancement allegation for substantial sexual conduct. He would have faced a maximum sentence of 18 years in state prison if convicted.

In a statement released to the press by the Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA), it states that the OCDAs office suspected Stenger to be a suicide risk and “based on that information, the OCDA took precautions to protect the safety of the defendant and other persons, including sealing all case related documents to prevent him from learning about his pending arrest. The OCDA obtained a no bail warrant and worked with the OCSD to coordinate a safe arrest”, reads the statement.

OCDA investigators planned to arrest Stenger at the OCSD facilities in Santa Ana yesterday afternoon. At approximately 2:00 p.m. in a parking structure at 26681 Aliso Creek Drive in Aliso Viejo, Stenger was found with a single gun shot wound to the head in the driver's seat of an unmarked Crown Victoria patrol car. OCSD deputies had responded to the scene regarding an anonymous call about a suspicious vehicle. OCSD requested the Orange County Fire Authority respond, who pronounced Stenger dead at the scene.

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