Aug 16, 2013 7:24 PM by Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News

Charges filed against 2 Santa Barbara County custody deputies after alleged assault

Criminal charges have been filed against two Santa Barbara County Sheriff custody deputies after a jail inmate complained of unnecessary use of force, according to the sheriff's office.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced Friday that Custody Deputy Robert Kirsch and Custody Deputy Christopher Johnson have both been charged with assault by a public officer, which is a felony.

The charges come after an alleged assault against a Santa Barbara County Jail inmate.

The sheriff's office says the complaint was brought to its attention on June 18 and, after an investigation, notified the district attorney's office of its findings.

The sheriff's office says the charges against Kirsch and Johnson were filed after the district attorney's office reviewed the evidence.

"Our agency does not tolerate the unnecessary or excessive use of force," Sheriff Bill Brown said in a press release. "The behavior alleged in the criminal complaint is contrary to the high standards of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. I am saddened by these allegations that do not reflect the conduct and actions of the vast majority of the hundreds of men and women of the Sheriff's Office, who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving others. The custody deputies, who have both been placed on administrative leave, are entitled to due process. The case will now work its way through the criminal justice system and an internal review within the Sheriff's Office."

Kirsch and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 30.



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