Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Dessert Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Abusing Minor For Years

STANISLAUS COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (September 28, 2023) – A Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy identified as  Matthew Dessert has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a minor.

Stanislaus County officials are saying that the arrest took place after a student told a school counselor about the abuse on Monday. The school counselor reported the abuse which allegedly began when the student was 9-years-old.

Matthew Dessert voluntarily went to the sheriffs office for an interviewed and was subsequently arrested around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday. He has since been booked into jail and is facing charges including sexual abuse of a child, sexual battery and physical abuse of a child.

Matthew Dessert has since been released after posting $425,000 bail. He has since been placed on paid administrative leave.


Liability For Sexual Abuse Involving Police Officers


Sexual misconduct by police officers is sadly quite common. According to research from Bowling Green State University, police officers in the United States have been charged with forcible rape 405 times between the years 2005 and 2013. The vast majority of the abuse that takes place never gets formally reported and investigated. There are a number of steps that police departments should take in order to prevent sexual abuse involving their officers.

  • All members of law enforcement should be thoroughly vetted before they start working.
  • All instances of sexual abuse or harassment should be thoroughly investigated.
  • Police officers should be required to turn on their body cameras when they are working.
  • Police officers should be trained to respect boundaries in and outside of the office.

It is illegal for any member of law enforcement to sexually abuse a suspect or a minor. According to California Penal Code 288, it is a crime for a person to commit any lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 16. Forbidden conduct includes touching a child’s body for sexual purposes. It is not necessary that the touching is on bare skin. Depending on the facts of any case, a law enforcement agency could face civil liability if a police officer sexually abuses a child. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any instance of sexual abuse involving a police officer.

  • A police report of the incident should be created.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • An experienced sexual abuse attorney should be contacted.

The vast majority of sexual  abuse involving law enforcement is preventable. Indeed, by the time any police officer is arrested for sexual abuse, their employer likely missed dozens of red flags. It is important that abuse victims understand that they do have rights. The family of any child that was sexually abused by a police officer may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A sexual abuse attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating Law Enforcement Sexual Abuse In Stanislaus County

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our best wishes to all of the people who may have been harmed by the actions of Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Dessert. Any person that may have more information should reach out to Stanislaus County police officials. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other incidents like this.

Have you or someone that you care about been sexually abused by a Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy? Our team of sexual abuse attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that victims of police abuse are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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