A third deputy probation officer pleaded not guilty
today to assaulting teen inmates at a Sylmar juvenile hall.
Deputy Probation Officer Carlos Portillo, 38, was charged with two
counts of assault under color of authority. Supervising Deputy Probation
Officer Sergio Cano, 45, and Deputy Probation Timothy Boundy, 42, are also
charged in the case.
Cano earlier pleaded not guilty to one count of assault under color of
authority, while Boundy pleaded not guilty to three identical counts.
“The probation officers charged in this case were entrusted with the
safekeeping and well-being of youths while in their custody,” District Attorney
Jackie Lacey said. “Sadly, in this instance, we believe the defendants abused
their authority and broke the law.”
Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise of the Justice System Integrity
Division is prosecuting the case.
Portillo is accused of hitting a teen repeatedly on April 25, while
Boundy allegedly held the boy on the ground and Cano watched. Authorities said
the boy suffered moderate injuries in the assault, which was caught on
The investigation led to additional allegations that Portillo and Boundy
assaulted another teen after he tried to leave his room on Feb. 8, 2016. And
Boundy is also accused of grabbing a teen on Oct. 8, 2015, throwing him to the
ground and hitting him.
If convicted as charged, Boundy faces a possible maximum sentence of
four years and four months in state prison, while Portillo faces three years
and eight months in prison and Cano could receive a three-year prison term.
All three are due back in court April 11.
Chief Probation Officer Terri McDonald has said the Los Angeles County
Probation Department “is fully cooperating” in the investigation of
allegations against three probation officers “accused of using excessive force
against a juvenile detainee at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar.”
McDonald said two of the three men charged are no longer employed by the
department and the other is on leave.
A “sweeping internal investigation” uncovered seven other incidents at
Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in which employees apparently used unauthorized
or excessive force or lied, according to McDonald.
Probation officials refused to specify which employee was on leave and
which two were no longer with the department, but Cano’s attorney, Winston
Kevin McKesson, told reporters that his client — a 15-year veteran of the
probation department — was on administrative leave.
McKesson said at Cano’s arraignment that he believed there was
“insufficient evidence to show that my client did anything wrong.”
The case is the second filed in recent months involving probation officers.
Oscar David Calderon Jr., 33, pleaded not guilty Jan. 26 in connection
with allegations that he fondled four teenage girls at a juvenile camp in Santa
Clarita. He is charged with two counts of committing a lewd act on a child and
four counts of assault by a public officer.
City News Service
Image by Sascha Burkard