A former Humboldt County Sheriff’s sergeant has been charged with committing rape and sexual battery while on duty last year.
Jason Scott Daniels, 41, was arrested Oct. 18, 2013 by investigators with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office based on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman while detaining her. Thursday, the DA’s Office filed a three-count felony complaint charging Daniels with sexual y penetrating a woman with a foreign object against her will and sexually battering her while she was unlawfully restrained on Aug. 29, 2013, and a separate charge of sexually battering another woman while unlawfully restraining her on March 13, 2013.
The DA’s Office confirmed last year that the two alleged offenses from Aug. 29, 2013 were both committed while Daniels was on duty. It’s unclear why almost a year passed between the dates of Daniels’ arrest and his being formally charged with a crime. Calls placed to the DA’s Office today were not immediately returned.
Amid the rape investigation, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office placed Daniels on administrative leave Oct. 17, 2013 and he was “separated from county service” Feb. 19, 2014, according to Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Steve Knight, who said he couldn’t comment on the nature of Daniels departure from county employment.
Daniels — a former field-training officer, member of the county gang task force and sheriff’s office crisis negotiation team — was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2000, and promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2011. Just months before his arrest, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors presented Daniels with a certificate of recognition for his work saving a suicidal mother of two threatening to jump off the Willow Creek Bridge. After reportedly negotiating with the 21-year-old for about 90 minutes as she stood on a narrow ledge 75 feet above the Trinity River, Daniels grabbed her and pulled her to safety.
A local product, Daniels worked for both the Trinidad and Blue Lake police departments before joining the sheriff’s office. He went through the College of the Redwoods Police Academy after attending Eureka High School.
Daniels is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 30. He faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison if convicted on all counts.