A Ventura County probation officer is behind bars and facing child pornography charges.
52-year-old James Richard Schmitt, a senior deputy probation officer with the Ventura County Probation Agency, was arrested Thursday morning after a months-long investigation.
Schmitt was placed on administrative leave in February 2016 when the Probation Agency became aware of the allegations against him. Since then, the Probation Agency says it launched an internal investigation and has cooperated with the FBI and Ventura County District Attorney’s Office in this case.
Schmitt was booked into Ventura County Jail and is charged with possession of child pornography.
The Ventura County Probation Agency said the following in a statement released to the public on Thursday:
“The allegations against Mr. Schmitt are serious and concerning. We want to ensure the citizens of Ventura County that this is not reflective of the good women and men of the Probation Agency who work every day to keep our community safe, and to help rehabilitate thousands of adults and juveniles entrusted to our supervision. We take allegations of officer misconduct seriously and strive to maintain the trust of our community in all that we do.”
“We will continue to cooperate in any way possible to learn the truth of this matter. While we remind the public that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence, we also believe in accountability for misconduct and will seek administrative sanctions if supported by facts.”
“As this is a confidential personnel matter, we will not be able to discuss any specifics of the administrative investigation.”