Last Update: 7/13/2020
A former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to numerous sex crimes against several female inmates at Morongo Basin Jail in Joshua Tree.
Brian Derryberry was accused of battery, sexual assault, and sexual contact with several inmates at the facility. After initially pleading not guilty, on December 4th he changed his plea on nine counts of battery, sexual assault, making threats, sodomy, and having sex with inmates.
Authorities began investigating Derryberry in July 2016 after a source contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office and told them that Derryberry was involved in a sexual relationship with a female inmate at the Morongo Basin Jail. During this investigation, detectives determined that Derryberry had sex with several female inmates while they were housed at the Morongo Basin Jail.
Police arrested and booked Derryberry in July 2016. He was fired shortly after his arrest.
In related news, in November the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $3.9 million in a settlement for a civil rights lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and another deputy who was accused of sexually assaulting female inmates.
This settlement ended a lawsuit filed by three women who alleged sexual assault by Deputy Giancarlo Scotti at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood last year.
In the lawsuit, the women also claimed that they faced retaliation after contacting the Sheriff’s Department about the alleged assaults. They also said that the facility didn’t meet federal standards regarding sexual harassment and abuse of inmates.
Legal contributor Bobby Thompson is an experienced attorney who’s handled numerous police officer sexual abuse cases in the past. His goal is to help survivors of sexual violence find justice and support in civil lawsuits. Here is some input from Bobby regarding the legal options available to those who may have been sexually assaulted by prison staff members:
“Many sexual predators are individuals in positions of authority over their victims. These predators think that their authority will shield them from the consequences of their heinous crimes. However, prison employees and others in positions of authority in correctional facilities are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. And inmates, like the rest of society, deserve justice when they are sexually assaulted. Correspondingly, sexually assaulted or abused inmates can bring forth a lawsuit against not only the perpetrator but also the facility which was unable to safeguard the person while they were in their care.”