Sheriff’s Sergeant Pleads No Contest to Battery Charge

December 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant pleaded no contest Tuesday to misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment charges involving a female deputy.

Michael Spina, 37, was accused of restraining and groping his colleague, whose name was withheld, in July 2016 at the Twin Towers correctional facility, according to Frank Mateljan of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

Spina was immediately sentenced to 90 days in county jail or 30 days of community labor and three years on probation, and was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation and participate in weekly counseling for at least a year, according to Mateljan.

Spina was also barred from engaging in any employment or business where he would work with female employees or customers in a one-on-one situation without supervision or other people present, according to Mateljan.

Three other counts against him, including two counts of sexual battery and one count of indecent exposure, were dismissed.

Spina is “currently on the department,” according to Nicole Nishida of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who did not elaborate.

Spina’s attorney could not be reached for immediate comment on the plea or sentence.

‘He Saved Me,’ Deputy Says of Fellow Officer’s Gift of Liver

June 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who received a life-saving liver transplant expressed his gratitude Thursday to a colleague, who donated part of his own liver for the surgery.

“I never thought I would have a brother at age 40. (It’s) a miracle,” Deputy Jorge Castro said at a news conference at Keck Hospital of the University of Southern California.

Castro was seated at a table with Deputy Javier Tiscareno, who donated part of his liver to his fellow deputy.

The operation was performed June 4 at the medical facility, where surgeons removed 60 percent of Tiscareno’s liver and implanted it in Castro.

Both liver sections are expected to grow back to normal size, and both men could return to work and other normal activities within about two months, officials said.

Castro, a 14-year department veteran assigned to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, had first described his need for a liver transplant to Tiscareno, an 18-year department veteran, while the men were at a gym.

Tiscareno said the most rewarding part of his gift was knowing that Castro would be able to share in his children’s lives.

“Jorge was able to say (to his kids), ‘Hey, you know, this is the guy who saved me,’” Tiscareno said. “But what touched me is he says, ‘Now I get to see you grow up. I get to be part of your life.’ And that gave me so much happiness. So I’m thankful to have him here.”

Castro had thought he was facing death because he couldn’t find a donated liver. Back in January 2014, doctors told him they would place him on a waiting list, but they also warned it was difficult to find a donor and no one in his own family was a match.

If he didn’t find a liver for implantation, he could be dead within a year, the doctors said.

Soon afterward, Castro began talking to Tiscareno while at the gym. When asked how he was doing, Castro tried to say he was fine, but Tiscareno could tell something was wrong.

The treatments weren’t working, and he was getting worse, Castro said. He ended up confiding in Tiscareno, who told Castro he was willing to see if he might be a match.

The Tiscareno and Castro families became close as the surgery approached. Their wives, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida, “have become very close and Castro realizes he owes Tiscareno his life.”

“I’m not going to your funeral knowing that I could have helped,” Tiscareno told Castro at a news conference before last week’s surgery.

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