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Azzan Sandhu Charged With Sexually Abusing Incarcerated Minor

Correctional Officer Azzan Sandhu, 28, of Fullerton, Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Abusing 15-Year-Old Girl At Ventura County Youth Jail In Camarillo 

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CAMARILLO, CALIFORNIA (March 20, 2024) – A Ventura County Correctional Facility officer identified as Azzan Sandhu has been charged with sexually abusing a minor inmate.

Ventura County officials announced the charges on Wednesday, March 20. Azzan Sandhu is facing nine felony counts related to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl held at the Ventura County Correctional Facility.

He is also facing seven counts of committing lewd acts upon a child, one count of creating child sexual abuse material, and another count of communicating with a minor to commit a sex offense.

During his arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office has claimed that Azzan Sandhu preyed upon and sexually exploited the victim between December 2022 and February 2023.

He is currently being held on $1 million bail at the Ventura County Main Jail. A full investigation remains ongoing.

Liability For Ventura County Inmate Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse within the prison system is unfortunately all too common. Incarcerated youth are particularly at risk. According to PubMed, “ Of the 100 male inmates who participated in this study, 59% reported experiencing some form of sexual abuse before puberty, and all such instances occurred before or at the age of 13 years.” Jails should take a number of steps to prevent children from being abused at youth detention facilities.

  • Correctional officers should be trained on appropriate interactions with youth. This includes teaching them to recognize signs of abuse and to report them.
  • All correctional officers should undergo background checks.
  • Correctional facilities should understand the factors that contribute to sexual victimization and predation.
  • Jails should ensure that all of the youths in their care are properly supervised. Abuse is far more likely to take place when jail staff are left unsupervised with the children in their care.

It is illegal for any person who works as a jail guard to have any type of sexual relationship with an inmate. This is true even if the inmate offered their “consent.” According to California Penal Code 289.6 (a), it is a crime for correctional officers to engage in sexual activity with inmates. Federal law also criminalizes sexual contact between prison staff and inmates under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2243, and 2244. Correctional officers who sexually abuse children can also face additional criminal charges under California Penal Code 288.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail could be liable if an inmate in their care is sexually abused by a correctional officer. Jails have a legal obligation to protect inmates from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes protecting children from sexual abuse at the hands of correctional officers. If jail officials are deliberately indifferent to a known risk of harm, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any instance of inmate sexual abuse.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records related to the assault should be preserved.
  • Jail records related to the assailant should be compiled.
  • An experienced sexual abuse attorney should be contacted.

Sexual abuse is one of the most harmful things that most people will ever go through. It can be particularly damaging for children. Abuse survivors are statistically more likely to be plagued by long-term anxiety, PTSD, and a wide variety of negative health outcomes. Sadly, though, jails will often do everything that they can to deny liability if one of their officers sexually abuses an incarcerated child. This is why it is so crucial to seek experienced legal counsel as early as possible.

Investigating Sexual Abuse At The Ventura County Correctional Facility In Camarillo 

We at the Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to all of the people who may have been affected by the actions of Azzan Sandhu. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Jail officials should be looking into the possibility that there may be other victims. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent anything similar from happening again.

Have you or someone that you care about been sexually abused at the Ventura County Correctional Facility in Camarillo? Our team of sexual abuse attorneys is here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that abusers are held accountable for their illegal actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.

Author

MICHAEL S. CARRILLO, Partner

Michael works on high-profile cases that have garnered national media attention. His practice today focuses on child sexual abuse cases, police misconduct cases, catastrophic injuries and other wrongful death matters. He is a passionate advocate for his clients including the countless child sexual abuse victims he currently represents.