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DCFS investigator arrested for sex assault

December 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A child abuse investigator for L.A. County is under arrest, accused of sexually assaulting the mother of a child whose safety he was assigned to evaluate.Eyewitness News confirmed that an L.A. County child-abuse investigator was arrested on a felony charge.

Yadullah "Eddie" Lorghaba, 53, of Valley Village, was an employee of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services at the Winnetka location.

Authorities told Eyewitness News that a 30-year-old woman who was being investigated for shoplifting told Lorghaba she would do anything to keep her child. She claims Lorghaba took her into a room and sexually assaulted her. The incident allegedly occurred on Sept. 17, 2010.

Authorities found Lorghaba's DNA on the woman's brassiere.

The DCFS said there were no previous complaints against Lorghaba. The department was cooperating with police in the investigation.

Lorghaba was arrested and booked in the Men's Central Jail downtown and charged with a felony count of sexual battery by restraint.

Lorghaba was released on $75,000 bail. His next court date is January 5, 2010, at Van Nuys Court to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

Lorghaba has been with the department for 13 years.

Patricia Ploehn, director of the DCFS, released a statement Wednesday.

"I want to thank Chief Beck and all of LAPD for their quick and thorough investigation of this matter. DCFS' mission is to protect and assist children and families and we find this type of conduct appalling and deplorable. It will not be tolerated in my department or in our County. DCFS has worked closely and cooperatively with LAPD throughout their criminal investigation. At the same time, we also immediately launched and completed our own internal investigation.

"Mr. Lorghaba, a 12-year County employee has been on desk duty since the incident was reported. Yesterday, following the conclusion of the investigations, he was placed on a 30-day unpaid administrative leave, pending the completion of his termination from County service.

"DCFS is continuing to work with LAPD to investigate other clients Mr. Lorghaba has worked with to determine if there are any other potential victims.

"We do not and will not ever tolerate this type of conduct. It's critically important that the alleged actions of this one individual not be allowed to cast a negative light on the positive and life-changing work that is done everyday by the rest of our thousands of social workers."

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to call Topanga Area Detective Stewart at (818) 756-3375. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text "CRIMES" with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on "Web Tips." When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with "LAPD." Tipsters may remain anonymous.


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