Dead Orange County deputy was to be arrested in molest case

April 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An on-duty Orange County sheriff's investigator found dead from a gunshot in his unmarked patrol car on Wednesday was to have been arrested that day on felony charges of child molestation. District attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami says 41-year-old Gerald Stenger of Aliso Viejo was charged Wednesday morning with one count of lewd acts on a child under 14 and one count of continuous sexual abuse.

Prosecutors allege he molested a 12-year-old boy for two years more than a decade ago.

Emami says there were concerns that Stenger was a suicide risk and his case file was sealed to prevent him from knowing of his pending arrest.

Stenger's body was found Wednesday afternoon in the driver's seat of the patrol car in an Aliso Viejo shopping center parking lot. He had a single gunshot wound to the head.