Correctional officer charged with sex abuse of 15-year-old at Ventura County youth facility

A 28-year-old corrections officer was charged with nine felony counts related to the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl under his supervision at a youth correctional facility, the Ventura County district attorney said Wednesday.

Azzan Sandhu, of Fullerton, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, was charged with seven counts of committing a lewd act on a child, one count of using the child for the creation of child sexual abuse material and one count of communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex offense.

Each count also carries an additional allegation that Sandhu took advantage of his position of confidence to commit the offenses against the child, who was at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo, the district attorney's office said.

Read more: L.A. County probation officer accused of sex with jailed youth

“The defendant is accused of using his position of trust and authority to sexually abuse a vulnerable female entrusted to his care,” Dist. Atty. Erik Nasarenko said. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute any individual who is alleged to have preyed upon and sexually exploited a minor."

Sandhu pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment Wednesday. He is accused of committing the offenses between December 2022 and February 2023, and of using his cellphone to create child sexual abuse material during the same time.

Sandhu's next court appearance is scheduled for April 25. He remains in jail on $1 million bail.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.