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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Captain Investigated

BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN

Captain Joseph Stephen, the commander of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, and two other Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials, are currently under investigation on allegations of sexual misconduct that were levied by a female deputy.
The deputy, whose name is being withheld due to the nature of the allegations, is scheduled to appear in San Bernardino Superior Court in February on unrelated felony charges that include vandalism and battery.
Lt. Matthew Squire will temporarily replace Stephen as captain of the station, Squire confirmed on Friday.
Stephen’s status has not been publicly clarified. However he reportedly turned in his company car on Monday. All inquiries receive the same response: the matter is under investigation.
Stephen assumed command of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, which provides law enforcement services for Malibu, Agoura Hills, and Calabasas, in 2010.
He replaced former station captain Tom Martin, who was promoted and transferred to the LASD’s Monterey Park after a six-year stint at the station.
Stephen is described as a 30-year veteran of the LASD. Prior to serving at Lost Hills, Stephen was assigned as a deputy sheriff at the Marina Del Rey Station, where he was a field training officer, detective, watch deputy and community affairs deputy, according to his biography  on the LASD website.
In 2000, Stephen was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the Century and Compton stations. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2005, and to captain by Sheriff Lee Baca in March of 2010, prior to assuming command of the Lost Hills Station.
Stephen has denied that he was involved in any misconduct, but declined to make any additional statement.
“I can’t make any comments at this time,” he told the Malibu Surfside News on Tuesday.

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