#MeToo Behind Bars

Victims Say They Feel Betrayed By Judge’s Sentence of 2 Years in Fire Camp for Former LASD Deputy Who Sexually Assaulted 6 Women in LA Jail

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

with Lauren Lee White

Judge Renee Korn’s day was running late last Thursday morning, so it past 10:30 a.m. before the sentencing hearing for former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, Giancarlo Scotti, finally got underway.

Three weeks before the hearing, Scotti pleaded no contest to engaging in unlawful sexual activity with six different women, each of whom had at the time been an inmate in Century Regional Detention Center, or CRDF, which is the state’s largest women’s jail located in Lynwood, California.

There was already some controversy about the sentence, In response to Scotti’s plea, the judge had tentatively set the sentence at two years, which was a year less than the three years the prosecutor’s office requested, and more than five years less than the seven years and four months Scotti could have gotten for the charges delineated in his plea. Plus Scotti would not have to register as a sexual offender.

Scotti’s defense attorney, Anthony Falangetti, asked the court for no prison time at all, contending that all the former deputy’s sexual actions with the women, ranging in age from 24 to 42 years old, were consensual.

In September 2017, however, when the former deputy was originally arrested for sexual wrongdoing in the Lynwood jail, it was for suspicion of two counts of rape and two counts of oral copulation under color of authority.

By February 2018, the number of Scotti’s alleged victims had climbed causing the deputy to be charged with sexually assaulting six female inmates in the Lynwood jail facility.

Apart from the criminal charges, at least eight women have filed federal civil rights lawsuits, most of which include discomfortingly detailed allegations of predatory sexual behavior by Mr. Scotti.

Not all of the women who have filed the federal civil rights lawsuits overlap with the six named in the criminal case. Yet the three women whose lawsuits have already been settled have resulted in a total of $3.9 million in payouts by Los Angeles County, with more settlements still to come.


Impact reports

Before Scotti’s sentence was formally pronounced by Judge Korn on Thursday morning, Deputy District Attorney Hyunah Suh of the DA’s Justice System Integrity Division, who was the prosecutor on the case, said that two of Scotti’s victims had “impact statements” that they wanted the judge to hear.

One of the women, who was identified as Angelena G, felt uncomfortable reading her statement herself, so prosecutor Hynuah Suh said she would read it for her.

In her civil court filing, Angelena disclosed that she had been sexually assaulted at age 14, and was already reportedly suffering from depression when Scotti began repeatedly suggesting sexual favors, finally reportedly demanding she perform oral sex on him until he ejaculated while she was in her cell, according to her complaint.

After her experience with Scotti, Angelena wrote in her impact statement, she “felt abused, and numb, violated and afraid.” Scotti was “someone who took an oath to protect and serve the community. Instead, she wrote, the deputy “used his authority to take advantage of those in a destitute situation… That I’m not the only victim frightens me.”


Thea’s story

The second woman who asked to present a victim’s impact statement waited in the hall outside the courtroom until it was her turn to be called, occasionally leaning for support into her boyfriend, who sat next to her.

“I’m really nervous,” said the woman who was identified as Thea L. when she was finally beckoned through the courtroom door to read her statement.

“The other morning I got a call from my attorney,” Thea began, referring to her civil rights attorney, Justin Sterling who, together with Erin Darling, represent both Thea and Angelena in their respective lawsuits.  Sterling was also in the courtroom.

As she always did when they talked, Thea said, she asked her attorney about the status of former sheriff’s deputy Giancarlo Scotti’s case.

Sterling told her about Scotti’s probable lowered sentence.

“It felt like an ultimate betrayal,” Thea said of the news. “He told me that he was only getting two years. He does not have to register as a sexual offender.” She also learned that Scotti had able to plead to lower charges that were based on the sex with his victims having been consensual.

As she spoke, Thea’s voice broke, and she swiped at her eyes repeatedly. Yet she appeared determined to get through the ordeal.

“There’s nothing consensual about preying upon an isolated woman,” Thea told the judge. “When you have the ability to change lives … when you have the ability to make such a powerful positive impact … and you choose to do the opposite.”

While Thea didn’t talk about the details of Scotti’s actions in court on Thursday, her October 2017 civil rights complaint described Scotti coming to her cell and telling her to follow him out into the corridor.

“Let’s go,” Deputy Scotti told Thea, according to the complaint. When she didn’t move, he continued to push verbally until, feeling she had “no choice,” she followed Scotti, who led her to the nearest shower area of the jail where, according to the complaint, Scotti demanded Thea orally copulate him. Then he vaginally raped her.

In her statement to the judge, Thea talked about the aftermath of the assaults she says she still lives with, about the mornings that she said she is unable to get out of bed “and seize the day,” about repeated nightmares, about the ways it has changed how she feels about herself.

“The number one rule when you’re in jail is to obey officers at all times and listen to directions. Failure to do so can result in loss of privileges and even additional time,” she told the judge.

“There is no consenting. It’s like saying a child is choosing to be molested, even though they know it’s wrong and don’t want to, they don’t feel they have a choice, because this trusted person decides their life.”

Throughout both victim impact statements, Scotti never looked at either speaker but stared straight ahead.


The consensuality issue

Once the reading of the two victim impact statements was over, the judge appeared perplexed and, after thanking the two women, Korn said she had some questions for the Deputy District Attorney Suh.

The court, Judge Korn said, “had the distinct understanding these sexual activities were consensual.”

She understood, the judge said, that “using the term ‘consensual,’ in a custody environment” is “less than consensual.”

(The majority of states, including California, have criminal statutes stating that inmates are not capable of consenting to sexual contact with detention facility employees, due to the obvious power differential between guards and inmates in a locked facility.)

But, Korn continued, there were various different kinds of more serious charges the prosecutors could have brought, sexual assault under duress, for example, she said. And yet they chose these much lesser charges.

Suh replied that when she and her colleagues reviewed the case, they looked for coercion but “we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was duress.”

After more discussion, in the end, Judge Korn went with the two-year prison sentence for Scotti, and said she would recommend that he be sent, at his request, to do his sentence at one of the state’s fire fighting camps.

Scotti has no prior criminal record, Judge Korn said, in explanation.  And “he voluntarily acknowledged his wrongdoing,” she said, although the latter is somewhat arguable if one does not accept the claim that the sexual interaction with all six victims was consensual.

The judge did, however,  issue a five-year stay away order which stipulated that Scotti can’t come within 100 yards of the six victims for a half-decade.

“The criminal court system is under fire,” Judge Korn said near the end of the hearing in something of a non-sequitur.  “We try to mete out justice every day.”

After the judge concluded, two bailiffs handcuffed Mr. Scotti and led him out a side door.

One of the women who had accompanied Scotti to court, possibly his mother, wept as he was led away in cuffs.


Parallel justice

“This is a reward,” said a visibly upset Thea L. outside the courtroom as she and her boyfriend waited for an elevator to take them down from the 11th floor. “It’s what everybody wants.”

She was referring to Scotti’s sentence to one of the state’s fire-fighting camps, an assignment that is highly coveted among most prisoners, as it means one does not languish in a cell and is not subject to many of the indignities of a regular prison.  Plus, if one likes the out-of-doors, it provides interesting work that brings with it camaraderie and a sense of purpose.

Attorney Justin Sterling too expressed unhappiness with the outcome of the hearing, both verbally and in an emailed statement he wrote and sent shortly after leaving the criminal court building.

“The court’s sentence today…is further evidence that there appears to be a parallel justice system in place; one for you and me, and one reserved for members of law enforcement,” Sterling said.

Sterling thought it was important that the two women were heard,  “and I commend their bravery and courage in providing victim impact statements in open court,” he wrote. “Deputy Scotti’s sentence closes a horrific chapter in our clients’ lives but the trauma and emotional toll caused by his crimes will be felt by our clients far beyond today.”

Both research pertaining to the aftermath of sexual assault, and the anecdotal information women shared with reporter Lauren Lee White for WitnessLA’s April 2019 story, #MeToo Behind Bars: Sexual Misconduct at the LA County Women’s Jail, suggest that Sterling’s assessment is sadly correct.


The photo of former deputy Giancarlo Scotti was uploaded to his Instagram page.

51 Comments

  • After spending over 35 yrs in L/E these type of incidents continue to come to the surface from time to time. There is no place for this type of conduct in our society, the officer IMPO should have received the max sentence.
    Once again the county is paying out huge settlement dollars for stupid things some officers are doing on duty the blood letting has to stop, where are the Sgts and LTS?
    This officer is going to do some real hard time in prison.

  • OK cf, have a field day. I agree, this asshole should have gone to jail (and I mean real jail) for the maximum jail sentence he could have served. He took advantage of these and other women, he took advantage of his position and trust put in him and he then took advantage of the “system.” Any POSs like him don’t need any advantages; they need justice to be a lightening bolt, not a feather duster.

  • JSID was weak in this case. I think their concern about proving the sex was not consensual beyond a reasonable doubt was overplayed. The statute is clear that inmates can’t consent to sex, so I think a jury could have figured this one out.

    No sex registration, getting a ridiculously short sentence, and fire camp??? Far too much of a sweetheart deal for my taste. We cops know that the hammer is supposed to fall on us harder. He got too lucky.

    • @Reality, had it been a jury of his (former) peers (i.e. fellow LEO’s), they would have recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole and to be housed with an inmate known as Big Bubba.

    • This sentence only paves the road for more criminal sexual behavior from crooked cops.
      What a slap in the face to the victims, RIDICULOUS!

      • A slap to victims yes – but opening up a Pandora’s Box of cops running to have sex with inmates? Not hardly. There will always be someone with a screw loose that does (male or female) but most cops wouldn’t touch an inmate with a ten foot pole.

  • Dear “So Sad” whose comments I just deleted. You said you’d be happy to help. If so, you know how to reach me.

    C.

  • Another sexual predator on the force. Shocker. Those are fine men and women feeding at the government trough. And, what is more equally, if not more disgusting, is the DA. This is rape. DA points out that there was no force used. Really?! Most pedophiles do not use force.

    • Just like I said Celeste Freeman…This cock wipe was gonna fine something to say disregarding that his brother in arms just raped 6 women and the f’d up system just let another cop off. I this a clean enough comment cf?

  • It is perplexing to see WitnessLA rooting for a harsh, long prison sentence for a deputy, when she constantly advocates, for rehabilitation, compasión, understanding of a hardened career criminal.

    I guess WitnessLA is right there are different types of criminal justice systems.

    (Perplexing one of the WitnessLA’s favorite words)

    • So a cop just got convicted of raping 6 women and got a coddled 2 years in fire camp. Plse tell me how that compares to “hardened criminals”? I honestly wonder how u would feel if it was ur daughter, mom, or wife. fuck it,

      I hope it is at some point, I wanna see those comments then…

  • The mentality of the motherfuckers that are given a badge and gun are so f’n twisted but Celeste Freeman doesn’t like my comments. I wish to god I could put a face to these comments…

    • Celeste is right; you do have something important to say, but it could be better said if you were more articulate.

      As it stands now

      Poverty of language=poverty of thought.

      • Fuck ur self just like that…Im far from with the analytics. Keep that shit for when u go golfing with the other soft ass cunts of the lasd. Clear enough for you. Ur partner just raped 6 women. Speak on that???

        • “Speak on that???”

          O.K.

          1. The Judge believed it was all consensual.
          2. Three who already settled their court cases got $3.9 million.

          1+2=the real motive behind all this.

        • So sad is the same troll who keeps getting kicked off for saying stupid stuff, but for some reason Celeste let’s her back on. So sad has mommy issues (I had some great inside info on sad’s mommy and her involvement with the Scotti case but Celeste won’t let it through)

          • Naa bitch put me in the male classification. And please dont say things on this punk ass blog that you wouldn’t say in person. The best thing for you to do is remain in bitch boy lane and accept that ur rebuttal’s will never be taken seriously bc ur the true definition of a key board warrior. You’ve been exposed. Accept ur postition as a lame and fall back.

            thanx hun now get to bed

  • Madame Kong and Bastard – Not longer than any Joe would get. I say give the porcine convicts the same that you would give a brother for the same crime. If you can find a brother or a Mexican that got 2 years, at a camp, for raping 6 women, please let me know. No doubt you’ll say he was the one lone bad apples. Most of the barrel is rotten. Bastard, by the way, I like you name. Take care, bastard.

    • A “brother” what do you mean by that? Are you referring to a relative of yours? A “Mexican”? Sounds pretty racist.

      “Porcine”? Such racist comments and you call everyone else a racist. What a scheisskopf.

  • This site has really declined in terms of posted comments.

    I don’t like this sentence either and a lot of others that work in the system have noted the same.

    Celeste, how about interviewing the DA that handled this case and writing a follow up blog? Might help to educate those willing to learn…

  • And u cops are still spinrless ass wipes who continue to do perverted shit like ur brother Scotti…So take a breath and tell me where we can find some middle ground?

    • @SoSad
      You have some serious anger management and hatred issues. A law enforcement officer crossed the line and is going to jail. Too light of a sentence for me but it was not my call.

      I don’t understand why you hate every cop. We never asked your race, sex, religion, or anything else. We don’t slam your whole race tree, sex tree, or anything else because one of your people messed up.

      Go out and enjoy life. I have worked with many law enforcement officers throughout my career and for the most part, great people. The bad apples get caught and go to jail or loose their job. Don’t forget, some of these officers may have been chosen right from your own neighborhood. Should I blame you for their poor conduct.

      • “The bad apples get caught and go to jail or lose their job.”

        Somewhat.

        Up in Oakland the Oakland Police Department came under Federal Court Oversight for things like excessive force (whacking handcuffed arrestees) and putting falsified facts (lying) into arrest reports.

        Now, almost twenty years later, whenever the Federal Court Monitor writes a progress report on the matter phrases such as “losing ground” and “no improvement noted” are used.

        • I agree, somewhat. I think OJ walked on a murder charge because he didn’t do it, right. Ha Ha.

          Just the system we have. Its not perfect and could be improved on.

          • Speaking of the OJ case Mark Fuhrman was the lead LAPD investigator in that case.

            More on him: “When asked under oath whether he had planted or manufactured evidence in the case, Fuhrman invoked his fifth amendment right and declined to answer.”

            in 1996 Fuhrman pleaded no contest to giving false testimony in the O.J. Simpson case.

            SOURCE: Wikipedia.

            No wonder OJ walked.

        • Stick to the sickening issues at hand deputies. I swear u lasd perverts are like R. Kelly. Ur phenomenal at switching the public’s attention when u do outrageous things.

          Why are u guys raping female inmates at CRDF? Is it bc u know that having a badge means having connection’s through the courts when criminal issues arise?

      • Ur so right! I hate you, I hate cops, I hate the sight of that dispacable badge u wear. Anger management bc I curse and spew real life shit on blogs, no. My people never messed me up but the police messed me up more than you could ever imagine or would even want too bc of ur pathetic and conservative mentality. I enjoy the heck out life but when I come on this blog and see that a cop has gotten away with raping 6 women simply bc of the badge he wore, it makes me sick…

        • O.K.

          If you have been wrongfully treated by the police redress can be accomplished simply by seeing a lawyer specializing in police misconduct cases. Most will give free evaluations of your predicament, and if it looks like your case is winnable they may even take your case on via a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay your lawyer anything unless you win the case.

          You can find such a lawyer simply by Googling “Police misconduct lawyers near me” or “Police misconduct lawyers–your city.”

          If you have a valid case then good luck!

          • Already tried years ago you guys are just too corrupt and have everyone in ur pocketbook. Time has also became an issue. But that was all apart of ur hustle. U push ppl around and have them jumping through so many political and criminal hopps that by the time there is time to look for lawyers to put cases together the statute of limitation’s has already kicked in. You cops are some sly motherfuckers lol. My hatred on is a whole other level. I dont make dumb, cliche statements…but trust me when I say this, that badge makes me see red. And when I see situation’s with Scotti, like where this piece of horse shit didn’t even have to register as a sex offender my hate grows.

          • Come on sad/spook we all know you’re silly little girl engaging in a little performance art. What happened? Did you walk in on your mommy and a cop while daddy was out? Your gonna have to prove your a guy, up load a picture of your neck tattoo or something, (better have your name on it too)

          • Not to get off topic, but if not for the lying-ass heathen named Mark Furhman, O.J. would be gone for life.

    • SoSad – If you got “done wrong” by the system, I’m sorry – but whatever happened is not the fault of everyone in law enforcement. If you communicate with others like you do here, it’s no wonder you’ve had contacts with the criminal justice system. Take a note from CF’s posts. CF’s comments drip with disdain – but they are at least literate and through the nastiness there are at times, some reasonable points.

      No one here is defending this guy. Law enforcement hires from the human race. Like probably all employers, every agency has super stars, good performers, average performers and problem employees. This man was investigated, fired and prosecuted. The victims that haven’t already done so, can also go after him in civil court. I don’t agree with the sentence either and wish the judge would have postponed sentencing until she had more clarity on the facts but I don’t know all the details and I doubt that you do either. Hopefully Celeste will do a follow up article.

      I think we all get it. You (and a couple others here) hate all of us that work or worked in law enforcement. All of us – and there are over 800,000 cops in the US and about 9,000 sworn personnel on LASD alone – are all demons behind the misconduct of a few. I’m okay with that opinion. First, people have the right to be ignorant. Second, I helped a lot of people during my career – but there is no helping or talking with people that choose to remain full of hate and anger. Good luck to you.

    • SoSad – Okay, here are some thoughts…

      Not one member of law enforcement that’s commented here about the terms of this sentence has been supportive.
      Sentence is imposed based on the crime(s) a person is convicted of and any special allegations that are found true. Whether any of us agree or not, he was not convicted of six counts of rape.
      To prove a rape charge in CA, in addition to the victim stating they did not give consent, the DA must be able to prove the accused clearly knew that the victim was not giving their consent to convict on a rape charge. The DA felt that more serious charges could not be proven.
      Not everyone in law enforcement is the conservative you envision, particularly in CA.

      There are over 800,000 cops in the US and there are about 9000 sworn personnel on LASD alone. There will always be people that come on the job that should never have been hired but all are not demons behind the gross misconduct of a few any more than all citizens are not criminals behind the misconduct of others in their neighborhoods.

  • Conspiracy, porcine is not a racist word. Please, you can pull your Wikipedia degree elsewhere and on your police reports, but it wont fly. Your potbellied ( no pun intended) colleagues come in all shapes, sizes, although mostly portly after the 5 year mark, and genders. You have the White porcine, like many of your colleagues and like Mark Fuhrman, as Cognistator reminds us. That was a fine officer; what the LAPD was like when it was mostly white. You have the Latino porcine, like the wanna-be gangsters in the ELA Sheriff’s station. You have the black ones, like Officer Dorner, although to his credit he was a good shot. And, they come is all sexes. Look at the porcine going to prison for murder in Texas, Ms. Guyger. That was a dumb ass porcine – shoots an “intruder” in his home. How stupid can you be. I guess smart enough to be a cop. So, you see, no racism. I think you owe me an apology.

  • SoSad…realize cops hate you just as much as you hate them. The old saying you get what you give and reap what you sow come to mind. Just to be clear, no one cares or gives a damn about you, or your problems….especially cops. So don’t feel empowered by stating your true feelings and animosity toward the men and women of law enforcement that you don’t even know.

    Just rest assured, and take comfort in the fact the feelings are mutually shared with respect to your voiced hatred.

    Just to clear the air….

    • The so sad troll seriously got into Celeste’s head, not only is she letting her run amok she’s spiking my “in kind” replies. Looks like sad/spook is getting the ol’ liberal fellow traveler nod and wink.

      • Maj Kong – I wrote a reply that was factual and polite, hit post and it wasn’t published either. Celeste seems open to comments of all kinds. I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff written and posted here. Because we can’t go back and edit our posts here and it was a bit long, I pasted it on – maybe that did it. Who knows…

  • “Yet the three women whose lawsuits have already been settled have resulted in a total of $3.9 million in payouts by Los Angeles County, with more settlements still to come.”

    “The court, Judge Korn said, “had the distinct understanding these sexual activities were consensual.”

    Judge Renee Korn appears to be a jurist ripe for recall or voted off the bench. There is no such thing as ‘consensual sex’ in a custodial relationship. Let’s hope the feds are monitoring this.

    • Agree. There is no such thing as consensual sex when one party is in custody and the other wears a uniform and badge. Should have been multiple counts of sexual assault including forcible rape, rape under color of authority, oral copulation under color of authority.

    • Andre Leonard

      Exactly!!!

      Those three women, and the others, are all paragons of virtue who lost their purities

      in jail.

  • Madame Kong, you are paranoid. You have to ease off that pain medication.

    Cognistator, on top of being a racist you are also a sexist. I guess some women deserve it, right. Or, were they asking for it? Looking at the photograph of il porco Giancarlo Scotti, an Italian Adonis, is it any wonder why women imprisoned, who can’t get away, and probably feared retaliation, succumbed to his porcine charms. You folks have to stop thinking little cadet training sessions and jails are singles bars. I know it will probably cut down on your action and you and Madame Kong will have to work harder.

  • EDITOR’S NOTE:

    Dear “Take a breath,”

    When I saw your most recent comment about your comments being deleted, I searched found two comments of yours that somehow got spiked. I don’t know why. They were both actually very thoughtful. They’re up now. If that ever happens again, please let me know right away.

    C.

  • The hearing was simply the closing act of a complete public charade.
    The semantic contortions by Judge Korn attempting to salvage her credibility would be high comedy if the subject were not so traumatic.
    Where did the judge acquire her knowledge of deputy scotti’s sex with inmates as consensual?
    It didn’t come from anything on the official court record.
    Nor, as found in reports of scotti’s previous hearing, did statements from the judge proclaiming that scotti had admitted responsibility early in the case.
    In fact, it would be difficult to argue that scotti’s current nolo contendre plea contains any admission of responsibility.
    Maybe Korn’s understanding of the case derives from off-the-record discussions with defense attorney Falangetti, whom the judge shares some familiarity from the same years spent as undergrads at UCSB and working as prosecutors for L.A.D.A.
    Included in the scotti discussions would have been the D.A.’s office.
    Despite a whimper from Assistant D.A. Suh during the hearing, her superiors obviously signed off on the 2 year sentence – the press release posted to the D.A.’s website following the previous hearing confirms their approval.

    As Korn summed up the proceedings –
    “We try to mete out justice every (other) day”
    But today we are ran a charade of an open plea and fair sentencing, for what is actually a negotiated plea as result of a behind the scenes, off the record political arrangement excluding the interest of the victims.

  • Susanville is the Back Door

    The State Prison Dept. operates the fire camps.
    They set the requirements for fire camp and they operate the process for approval and acceptance into fire camp.
    They draw candidates for fire camp from the prison population, not from sentencing referrals by judges.
    Except in rare and special cases, where the process is distorted to support presentation of a charade.

    I just spoke with someone who spent the previous 5 years in the CA prison system and working the front lines on fire crew.
    He confirmed evidence that Susanville is being used as the back door.

    They are running fire crews with an empty bed and an extra name on the roster who has never been seen.

    “After the judge concluded, two bailiffs handcuffed Mr. Scotti and led him out a side door.”

    What does the record of the hearing say?
    Did the judge remand the defendant into immedeate custody pending transfer to CA Prison Dept.?

    Or it was merely the charade?
    Defendant led out a side door, down the stairwell.
    Then uncuffed and released through a back door into a private automobile and driven to a motel to spend the night.
    Then given several days to make his way to Susanville to report for surrender at fire camp.

    Scotti won’t be clearing brush, cutting and hauling dead lumber or digging fire lines.
    He won’t line up for chow or sleep on a cot alongside fire camp inmates.

    If scotti is given any work assignment – he will be posted inside a supply shack signing equipment in/out or work as a sentry at a vehicle entry post or inside an air conditioned staff office performing clerical work at a desk.

    In a report from the previous hearing, Judge Korn noted the penalties already imposed upon deputy scotti – such as the loss of his employment with the Sheriff Dept.
    She then took it over the top to declare that Scotti would never again have a position in law enforcement.

    Scotti probably won’t have a future position in law enforcement; however, it is beyond judge Korn’s authority to validate her declaration.

    Judge Korn did not impose any sex offender designation on Scotti to hold him back.

    He may find an agency willing to hire him again and put him into a uniform.
    Most likely working as a prison guard.

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