Responsible for overseeing inmates at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, California, a Los Angeles sheriff’s custody assistant was recently charged with assault for his alleged role in a jail beating. Instead of stopping the assault or reporting the incident, the sheriff’s employee reportedly left his post and later refused to provide medical assistance to the battered inmate.
On February 15, 2014, one of the inmates under Jonathan Grijalva’s supervision at the jail approached the sheriff’s employee and asked Grijalva to leave the area in order to avoid witnessing a beating against a fellow inmate. According to a recent statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Grijalva agreed to leave his post and failed to notify any other staff about the premeditated assault.
When Grijalva returned to the dormitory, he reportedly found the victimized inmate suffering from a fractured jaw and nose. Instead of allowing the inmate access to the infirmary, Grijalva has been accused of denying medical attention to a wounded man under his care.
On Tuesday, Greg Risling, a spokesman for the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, announced that Grijalva was charged with one count of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Risling also announced that an inmate named Raul McDonald has been charged for his role in the incident. Accused of standing guard and preventing anyone from interrupting the jail beating, McDonald has pleaded not guilty to one count of assault.
Despite the fact that a sheriff’s employee has been accused of participating in and covering up prisoner abuse, Grijalva only faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted, while McDonald could receive up to an eight-year term.
According to Risling, the case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which has recently endured the federal convictions of 20 sheriff’s officials for numerous counts of corruption and misconduct while former Sheriff Lee Baca currently faces criminal charges.