LOS ANGELES (TCD) -- A 51-year-old deputy with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been charged for the alleged sexual assault of four girls, who were between the ages of 7 and 13 at the time of the crimes.
The D.A.'s Office said a victim reported the abuse in 2006, but the case was initially declined.
Essex reportedly appeared in court on Aug. 10 and pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 1.
According to the D.A.'s Office, Essex faces 14 25-to-life counts and 18 15-to-life counts.
Several years ago, KTLA-TV reports that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department tried to have Essex fired, but the Civil Service Commission reversed the decision.
Essex has reportedly been removed from the department since the charges. He remains held in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility without bail, records show.
In a statement, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said, "Sexually assaulting a child not only robs them of their innocence but also leaves lasting mental trauma. This is one of the most egregious crimes my office encounters and it is made worse when the crime is committed by someone who has been entrusted to protect them and our community from harm."