PoliceOne Staff Report (CASTLE ROCK, Colo.) -- Five sheriff's deputies are being investigated to determine whether they had sex with an 18-year-old female Explorer Scout, the Denver Post has reported.
The Douglas County lawmen have been placed on paid leave while the investigation takes place, the newspaper said.
Under the Explorer Scout program run by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, youths ages 15 to 21, in cooperation with the Boy Scouts of America, are given a chance to observe the department's operations.
Details of the alleged sex scandal were not immediately available. But sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Moore told the newspaper that the probe began last week when rumors spread around the department over alleged sexual misconduct by some officers.
"We never had any victim allege any wrongdoing," Moore told the newspaper. "This all came from rumors. Once they found out what the situation involved, they contacted the district attorney's office."
Two sergeants, a corporal and two deputies are among those under investigation, the department said. Parents of the youths involved in the Scout program have been notified of the investigation, Moore told the newspaper.
The Explorer Scout program has been the subject of scandal in he past.
The Denver Post reported that the officer who helped start the program in 1983 was charged four years later with 16 counts of sexual assault on a child after several male Explorers said they had been molested. The disgraced lawmen later pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
According to a prepared statements on the sheriff's department Web site, the deputies are being investigated for either participating in the sexual misconduct or failing to report the incident to superiors.
The department said that after the criminal investigation is completed, an internal review will be made to determine if policy violations occurred.