Dennis Romero at the LA Weekly broke the story. Here’s the opening:
An 18-year-old woman says she had sex with a Los Angeles police officer when she was 17, which could constitute statutory rape in California. She gave LA Weekly a paternity test that shows a 99 percent probability that the officer is the father of her child, born Dec. 11.
Maria Rodriguez turned 18 in July (you can do the math). The officer, reached while he was on-duty this week at the LAPDs Holleneck station, acknowledged that he knows Rodriguez, but said “I don’t want to” talk about the situation.
The LAPD, while also expressing some knowledge of the allegations, essentially had no comment, stating that it’s a personnel matter. In fact, the reason Rodriguez came forward (and this gets a little complicated) …
… is that she says the department targeted the wrong cop in its internal investigation of her allegations.
Now that Rodgriguez is over 18, she has a relationship with another Hollenbeck officer, whom she says has been fired for being the father of her baby, instead of the officer she says is the actual baby-daddy. (Read the Weekly story for the rest.)
Sources close to the LAPD’s union say that the LAPPL is providing legal representation for the alleged father.
So why do we care? Because 30-something-year old cops, or teachers, or any other adult for that matter, do not get to have sex with teenagers. It’s not okay. No matter how mature they look, they are kids. And the adults have to behave like adults. That goes double for adults in positions of authority.
One more thing: in the past few years, I’ve heard more stories of cop misbehavior coming out of Hollenbeck division than anywhere. I’m not talking stats, just my own anecdotal observations. Hollenbeck has some great officers, including some decent division captains who have passed through the place and some excellent homicide detectives. But my entirely personal perception is that there’s still a small but entrenched culture at Hollenbeck that is problematic.
I’m just sayin.’
By the way, It’s my understanding from non-Weekly sources that the Weekly has had the story for multiple weeks but has just now published it. This suggests that they have made sure to check every fact six-ways from Sunday. In other words, what you see on the page is likely very solid.
AND IN A BIZARRELY RELATED STORY: ORANGE COUNTY HAS VOTED TO BAN SEX OFFENDERS FROM SOME BEACHES AND PARKS
The LA Times has the story. Here’s a clip:
The law, approved unanimously by the board Tuesday, is the latest in a controversial series of ordinances across the country aimed at limiting where sex offenders can live and visit. It was championed by Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, who said the idea was to keep sex offenders away from children and families.
“We are setting up a safety zone by keeping parks and recreation zones safe from predators,” Rackauckas said.
But critics immediately expressed skepticism about the law, saying it would be difficult to enforce and appeared politically motivated.