Former San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Gastineau pleaded not guilty to three counts of lewd acts on a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court. Prosecutors say Gastineau had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl in the police Explorers. (Al Cuizon/Staff Photographer)

Sex charges denied
Gastineau accused of six felonies
Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/21/2011 01:56:34 PM PDT

Nathan Gastineau, the ex-sheriff’s deputy accused of having sex with a under-age police Explorer, pleaded not guilty to six felony counts Tuesday in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Gastineau, 30, of Redlands, is charged with three counts of lewd acts on a minor and three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. His Redlands-based attorney, Andrew Haynal, entered the pleas for him.

He is next due in court on Aug. 2 for a pre-trial hearing.

Haynal declined to comment outside the courtroom Tuesday morning. He did not return a phone message seeking comment later in the day.

The alleged victim, a 16-year-old girl, appeared in court Tuesday with her mother and father.

Gastineau appeared in court dressed in a black suit with a female companion.

Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred is representing the 16-year-old girl. Allred appeared in court and held a news conference on the courthouse steps.

“I am representing my client, who is a minor, to make sure her rights are respected in this case,” she said.

The girl is prepared to testify in court, if necessary, Allred said.

The girl appeared at Allred’s side, dressed in black and wearing large, dark sunglasses.

Photographers and TV news cameramen captured the girl’s face, but Allred asked reporters not to reveal the girl’s name because she is a minor.

Sheriff’s detectives arrested Gastineau on April 22 at the sheriff’s Highland station before he started his shift. He posted bail a day after his arrest and has been a free man since.

Sheriff’s officials said on June 8 that Gastineau was no longer employed by the department.

He admitted to having a sexual relationship with the girl during questioning, according to reports written by investigators and submitted to prosecutors before he was charged.

Investigators also searched Gastineau’s home and work locker and found videos and photos, according to court documents.

One of the videos “clearly shows Gastineau having sexual intercourse with (the girl),” according to a report prepared by sheriff’s detective Tyson Niles.

Photos discovered during the search revealed the same thing, Niles wrote.

The video and photos were time-stamped in November, leading detectives to deduce that Gastineau was recording himself having sex with the girl when she was 15, authorities said.

The girl also told detectives that Gastineau performed sex acts on her at least once in a sheriff’s patrol car during a ride-along, according to court documents.

Allred said she is aware of “some of the evidence” in the case.

“What I’m aware of is the basis for the district attorney to proceed in their prosecution against Mr. Gastineau,” she said.

When asked if she plans to launch a lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department, Allred declined to comment.

“The family understands what their legal options are,” she said.

Allred said she is interested in all aspects of the case, including charges against a second man charged with having sex with her teenaged client.

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