Fresno Co. Jail officer accused of sexual abuse

November 11, 2009 

A correctional officer at Fresno County Jail has been put on administrative leave while officials investigate allegations that the officer sexually abused an inmate, Sheriff Margaret Mims said Tuesday.

The officer was identified as Maria Veronica Quintanilla.

Mims said in a statement that she could not comment on the allegations "other than to say [Quintanilla] is on paid administrative leave pending the results of a criminal and administrative investigation."

An attorney for inmate Richard Burrell contacted the Sheriff's Office on Monday and reported the allegations, Mims said.

Quintanilla, Burrell and his attorneys could not be reached to comment Wednesday evening.

Quintanilla has been employed by the Sheriff's Office for 7½ years.

According to jail records, Burrell, 34, was arrested Feb. 22 and charged with a felony count of willful cruelty to a child.

His bail was set at $150,000.

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