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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CNS) – A former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy who admitted to 20 charges involving sex acts with underage girls was sentenced to 12 years in state prison Friday.

Jaylen Devon Fleer, 27, formerly a member of the sheriff’s jail and court-services unit, was arrested last year following a nearly four-month investigation.

The case came to light in April 2020, when San Diego County Crime Stoppers received tips regarding an unidentified man who had engaged in sex acts with a juvenile, according to Chula Vista police.

“Investigators were able to identify the suspect and also determine that there were two additional underage victims,” Chula Vista police Lt. Dan Peak said at the time of Fleer’s arrest, while adding the offenses had no relation to Fleer’s employment.

The ensuing criminal complaint referenced a fourth victim, with all charged acts occurring between March 27 and April 8 of last year.

Prosecutors said the victims did not know one another. How Fleer met the victims has not been disclosed.

During the investigation, Fleer, who had been with the Sheriff’s Department for just over five years, was removed from a post at San Diego Central Jail and placed on desk duty, the agency reported. He had no on-duty contact with the public after being reassigned.

“Even though the allegation(s) had nothing to do with Fleer’s duties as a deputy, they were so serious that all peace-officer authority was taken away from him,” according to a department statement. “The Sheriff’s Department takes allegations of illegal activity by its employees very seriously. We hold all our deputies to the highest standards and will hold deputies who violate the law accountable.”

On the date of Fleer’s guilty pleas, his attorney, David P. Shapiro, said in a statement, “While Mr. Fleer first privately accepted responsibility for his improper actions quite some time ago, today was the first step toward publicly apologizing to his friends and family, to law enforcement and most of all, to the victims and their families. Jaylen hopes today’s guilty pleas provide at least some relief to all those involved, knowing the victims will not have to publicly come forward and testify at a preliminary hearing and/or at trial.”

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