Monday, September 18, 2006

Female Correctional Officer Faces Sex Charges

MURRIETA, US – A Murrieta woman who works as a correctional officer at a juvenile camp in the Cleveland National Forest was charged Friday with having sex with a 17-year-old male inmate.

Beccy Hasselbarth appeared Friday afternoon before Orange County Superior Court Judge Matthew Anderson, who set bail at $400,000 and postponed arraignment to Sept. 29 at the Laguna Niguel courthouse.

Hasselbarth, 34, faces three felony counts each of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation and three misdemeanor child annoyance counts.

She also is charged with a felony count of being an accessory after the fact in connection with the boy's escape from the Los Pinos Youth Facility in Trabuco Canyon last November, said Susan Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Hasselbarth allegedly continued to have sex with the teen and helped him by giving him money, Schroeder said.

According to the charging document, the alleged acts took place between Feb. 1 and Oct. 31 of last year, while the youth was assigned under her supervision.

The youth was serving time at the juvenile camp for robbery, grand theft, domestic violence and vandalism, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

He was re-arrested in February in connection with a robbery in Los Angeles County and is in the custody of the California Youth Authority, Amormino said.

Hasselbarth was arrested Wednesday evening in Murrieta while on her way home from her job, Amormino said.

The juvenile reported the alleged unlawful sex to a social worker while in custody in Los Angeles, and the case was referred to Social Services in Orange County.

If convicted, Hasselbarth could face up to five years and eight months in prison.

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