(LOS ANGELES) — A veteran Los Angeles Police Department officer was arrested on multiple sexual assault charges after DNA from one case allegedly linked him to a different cold case from 2015, authorities said Wednesday.
Officer William Rodriguez, 33, was charged with two counts of forcible rape and relieved of duty this week after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her last year, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said evidence linked Rodriguez, a 10-year veteran of the police force, to a sexual assault involving an acquaintance of his who claimed she was assaulted at his home in November 2018.
The investigation led to the discovery of a second alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2015 “under similar circumstances,” according to the DA’s office. Both alleged offenses took place while the officer was off duty, prosecutors said.
“The investigation into the latter case uncovered a second, unsolved sexual assault from 2015 when the defendant’s DNA was entered into the state’s DNA database prompting a ‘cold hit’ notification,” the DA’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “That assault involved another female victim who allegedly was raped under similar circumstances.”
Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday. Prosecutors have recommended that his bail be set at $1.2 million.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said he was deeply disturbed by the allegations.
“When one of our own breaks the trust of the people we are sworn to protect and to serve, it tarnishes the badge we all wear proudly on our chests,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday. “This arrest also reflects our commitment to pursue every lead no matter where the investigation takes us.”
Rodriguez was most recently assigned to the Valley Traffic Division. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison if convicted as charged.
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