A La Cañada Flintridge man faces life in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a young boy and girl between 2013-2015, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
After three days of deliberation last week, jurors found 45-year-old Michael Dane Ward, a former L.A. County Sheriff’s Department psychologist, guilty of four counts of lewd act on a child under 14, three counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger and one count of sodomy with a child younger than 10, the D.A. said.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 19, when Ward faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison, the statement said.
Ward’s victims were family members, a then-9-year-old boy and a then-10-year-old girl, who both reportedly testified against him at trial. When he was arrested on May 5, 2016, Ward was employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a psychologist. He immediately was relieved of his duties.
The crimes occurred between October 2014 and March 2015, prosecutors said.
A statement from the LASD on May 9, 2016, characterized the charges as “deeply troubling,” adding that “these allegations were not as a result of contacts he made within the scope of his work with the Sheriff’s Department.”
The case was investigated by LASD’s Special Victims Bureau.