Of all places you'd hope your kid would be safe, the sheriff's youth "Explorer" program (available in many counties around SoCal, including L.A. County) might be pretty high on the list. A whole room of deputies to keep the sexual predators away!
But then charges like these come along, completely uprooting your faith in law enforcement:
The District Attorney is accusing 36-year-old L.A. Sheriff's Deputy Manuel Enrique Perallon Jr., who's been on the force for 10 years (more than long enough to know better), of striking up a "sexual relationship" with a 16-year-old girl he met through the Explorer program.
His official charges are "one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 18" and "misdemeanor child molesting" -- which could lead to a maximum sentence of four years.
Since its inception almost half a century ago, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Law Enforcement Explorer Program claims to have forged "new inroads of understanding between youth, law enforcement, and the general citizenry."
That's one way to put it.
According to the D.A., the sexing occurred over three days, between April 29 and May 1 of last year, at the Cerritos Station (where the program is headquartered). "The defendant met the victim, who was 16 at the time, through the program," reads the report.
On what appears to be Perallon's Facebook page, he posted a super creepy photo (see left) of a sheriff's deputy smashing some guy's face into the concrete. The caption: "THINK ABOUT THE CONCEQUENCES BEFORE YOU MESS WITH A DEPUTY SHERIFF!!!!!!"
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So on top of the teen-sex allegations, he has also apparently aligned himself with the L.A. County Sheriff's notorious, uber-macho gang culture, in which some deputies actually pride themselves on use of force.
County's finest, no doubt.
But as far as inter-Explorer relations go, Perallon would not be the first deputy to step out of line. San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy Nathan Gastineau was charged last year with screwing a 16-year-old girl he met through the program. In court, his friends blamed the alleged victim, calling her a "female teenage predator." Watch out, coppers -- Explorer youth is out to seduce you.