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UPDATED: Cerritos Sheriff's Deputy Charged For Sex Crimes With Teen Explorer

Manuel Enrique Perallon Jr., who has been relieved of duty from the Cerritos Sheriff's Station since August 2011, could face up to four years in state prison if convicted.

Editor's Note: Updated at 5:15 p.m. with information on Perallon.

A 10-year Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department veteran, who oversaw the Explorer program at the , was arrested Wednesday on sex-related charges involving a 16-year-old girl enrolled in the program.

Manuel Enrique Perallon Jr., 36, is charged with one felony count of oral copulation of a person under 18 and one misdemeanor count of child molesting, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.

The crimes allegedly occurred in 2011 between April 29 and May 1, according to the D.A. office. However, sheriff's investigators believe the alleged "crime timeframe was between February 2011 and May 2011,"  said Steve Whitmore, LASD media spokesperson. 

Perallon, who turned himself in at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and was subsequently arrested, Whitmore said, was booked at the LASD's Carson Station, according to the sheriff's inmate information website. 

He was released on $70,000 bond and is set to be arraigned May 16. If convicted, he faces up to four years in state prison.

The department launched a probe into the allegations last year, Whitmore said, adding, "When it came to our attention, we immediately began to investigate." 

Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times that sheriff’s investigators do not believe Perallon had other victims.

Perallon Relieved of Duty From Cerritos Sheriff's Station In August 2011

Pending the investigation, Perallon was relieved of duty with pay in August 2011. He was relieved of duty without pay upon his April 25 arrest, according to Whitmore. 

Perallon, a former U.S. Marine who turned 36 today, is a Pico Rivera resident. His neighbors told ABC7 that he has lived at his home for more than five years with his wife and young daughter. 

Whitmore said the department is in the process of monitoring the criminal proceedings, "If the charges are true, he will face termination from the department." 

"We are going to help the D.A. prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law," he added.

What Is the Sheriff's Explorers Program?

The LASD's Law Enforcement Explorer Program began in 1969 to help "create new inroads of understanding between youth, law enforcement, and the general citizenry." Deputy Explorers not only help represent the sheriff's department and individual stations in the community, they also receive extensive training and actively participate in community affairs and non-hazardous law enforcement activities.

 are extremely visible and active in the community, often helping represent the department at community events and programs throughout the city. Most recently, the . 

"This is a vital program for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department," Whitmore said. "It helps young men and women who are looking forward to a career in law enforcement. So this thing (the current case involving Perallon), is especially unacceptable."

Old Mike Donald April 27, 2012 at 01:27 AM
It is unfortunate that one rogue individual can put a black mark on an otherwise excellent program for Cerritos youth. The deputies who have since taken control of the Explorer program are upstanding law enforcement personnel and have restored stability and order to this vital program. I have been fortunate to meet and interact with a number of lieutenants, sergeants, deputies and explorers and they are a pleasure to be around.

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