LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting four girls between the ages of 7 and 13, prosecutors said.
Sean Essex, 51, was ordered held without bail.
The county district attorney's office said he was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on 47 counts including committing lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, oral copulation of a child, and continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 and possessing material depicting a child sex act.
The office didn’t provide details of the alleged assaults.
Essex could face multiple life sentences if convicted of all charges.
“Sexually assaulting a child not only robs them of their innocence but also leaves lasting mental trauma," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “This is one of the most egregious crimes my office encounters and it is made worse when the crime is committed by someone who has been entrusted to protect them and our community from harm.”
One alleged victim reported abuse in 2006 but the district attorney's office declined to file charges at that time, prosecutors said.