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Officer Accused of Aiding Escapee

September 16, 2006|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

An Orange County correctional officer was charged Friday with having sex with a 17-year-old male inmate and helping him escape from a youth vocational camp in the Cleveland National Forest, officials said.

Beccy Hasselbarth, 34, of Murrieta was charged with three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, three counts of oral copulation of a minor, three counts of child annoyance, and being an accessory after the fact of aiding and abetting an escapee.

Hasselbarth, who has no previous criminal history, has supervised youth inmates at the facility for eight years and was working to become a probation officer, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Her arraignment was postponed until Sept. 30. She was being held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Officials said she had unlawful sex with the boy for eight months while he was an inmate at Los Pinos Conservation Camp. He was serving time for robbery, grand theft, vandalism and domestic violence, officials said.

The teenager, who was not identified because of his age, escaped from the facility in November 2005 with the help of Hasselbarth, who also gave him money, officials alleged. Then he committed a robbery in Los Angeles, Amormino said.

He was rearrested in February 2006 on an unrelated robbery and a warrant for his escape. He is now serving time at the California Youth Authority.

The alleged relationship between the teenager and Hasselbarth became known when he told a social worker, who reported it to Orange County Social Services.

Hasselbarth was arrested Wednesday on her drive home from work. If convicted, she faces up to five years and eight months in prison.

mai.tran@latimes.com

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