LA sheriff's deputy arrested for suspicion of felony child abuse; alleged victim is 5-year-old son

Deputy Jim Devoe was already suspended for a use of force incident and an allegation that he possessed illegal steroids.

Leo Stallworth Image
Saturday, May 20, 2023
LA sheriff's deputy arrested for suspicion of felony child abuse
An L.A. County sheriff's deputy has been arrested for felony child abuse. He allegedly beat his 5-year-old son.

ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- L.A. County Sheriff's Department has arrested one of its own.

Deputy Jim Devoe, assigned to the Antelope Valley Courthouse, has been booked for suspicion of felony child abuse.

The alleged victim is his 5-year-old son.

The deputy was arrested May 1 following a criminal investigation led by the department's Special Victims of Crime Bureau.

Prior to his arrest, Devoe had already been on suspension from the department for a use of force incident and an allegation that he possessed illegal steroids.

The department released a statement following Devoe's arrest, saying he is on administrative leave.

"Currently, Deputy Jim Devoe is on administrative leave pending outcome of the criminal investigation, which will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office," the statement read.

The deputy apparently shared a home with his girlfriend in an Antelope Valley neighborhood. Investigators accused Devoe's girlfriend, who is a clerk in the Antelope Valley Courthouse, of negligence in the case, saying she was present during the alleged abuse but failed to provide adequate medical care to the child.

A sheriff's department source told Eyewitness News that authorities began investigating Devoe after he texted his ex-wife that their son had suffered injuries from falling off his bike.

After picking her son up, the mother claimed he had serious bruising and swelling on his face.

The alleged victim and his brother claimed their father punched the 5-year-old.

Despite the boy's injuries, it appears he will recover.

The Department of Children and family services, or DCFS, has also gotten involved.

"I don't care who it is they need to step up," said Tonia, an Antelope Valley resident.

Residents like Tonia said that after past blunders when it comes to protecting children, DCFS needs to take aggressive action in this case if the allegations of abuse prove to be true.

"I don't think they're doing a job like they should be. They need to go after these people, these kids are being abused. They're being shot, killed and everything parents are abusing some of their children," said Tonia.

Sandra, another Antelope Valley resident, agreed.

"They have to be aggressive because they ignore it. They ignore it so many times," said Sandra.

DCFS issued a statement addressing community concerns.

"Our mission to protect children is one we share with our partners in law enforcement and the community. We remain fiercely committed to strengthening our community partnerships to enhance the safety net for children and families," the statement read.

Devoe is currently out of jail on $100,000 bail.