A former San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputy convicted of 16 felony counts related to rape and child molestation was sentenced Wednesday to 80 years in state prison.
Earle Yamamoto, 41, who worked for the department between 2016 and 2019, was found guilty by a Chula Vista jury in August of felony sex crimes against at least two underage girls. Prosecutors say the crimes occurred between 2012 and 2019.
A sheriff's spokesperson said in a statement, "Protecting and keeping our community safe is our utmost priority. We do not tolerate criminal, immoral or unethical behavior by any of our employees and when it is discovered we act decisively to investigate it and/or cooperate with outside investigators. Sheriff's employees are not above the law."
Yamamoto resigned from the department just four days before his arrest on Sept. 19, 2019. The Chula Vista Police Department never announced the charges in 2019.
He is also a retired Navy Reserve intelligence officer. He enlisted in 1997 and spent more than a decade stationed in San Diego -- up until August 2019 – the month before he was arrested.
Yamamoto is the second former San Diego County sheriff's deputy to be sentenced to a state prison term this year for sex crimes against children.
In June, Jaylen Devon Fleer was sentenced to a dozen years in prison following his guilty pleas to 20 felony and misdemeanor charges. Fleer admitted to engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old girl, as well as contacting numerous other underage girls over social media with aims of meeting up for sex.