A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with a felony after footage captured by a body camera allegedly showed him fondling a deceased woman’s breasts.
Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division arrested 27-year-old David Rojas, a 4-year veteran of the department, on Thursday, reports CBS Los Angeles.
Rojas was charged with one count of having sexual contact with human remains without authority, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
He was released from jail on a $20,000 bond, The Associated Press reported, citing a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inmate locator website.
If convicted as charged, Rojas faces a possible maximum sentence of three years in state prison.
The allegation against Rojas was brought to the department’s attention last month during an investigation into the fatal overdose of the woman.
On October 20, Rojas and his partner, both male, responded to the call and reportedly confirmed the unidentified woman was dead.
One left to retrieve paperwork from a patrol car while the Rojas stayed with the body inside a room.
It was at that point that Rojas was said to have turned off his bodycam and “inappropriately touched the woman’s body,” LAPD officials confirmed.
According to sources, the video showed him fondling the dead woman’s breasts.
Sources confirmed that even after he deactivated his camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured the incident.
Rojas turned in the body-worn camera at the end of his shift, as per protocol, where it was stored with thousands of others.
The officer in charge of looking over video from the cameras was said to have picked one of the shelves at random.
Los Angeles Police Department officials originally placed Rojas, who’s assigned to downtown’s Central Division, on leave with pay after the footage was seen during a random inspection.
Police Chief Michel Moore and the police union recently implemented a protocol in which the LAPD could randomly check video footage from body-worn cameras.
Moore said, “This incident is extremely disturbing and does not represent the values of the Los Angeles Police Department.”
The police union, which usually provides legal counsel for its members, said it won’t defend Rojas, according to The Associated Press.
The union’s board said in a statement that, “We hope that District Attorney Jackie Lacey charging Mr. Rojas for his vile alleged crime will bring some solace to the deceased woman’s family during their time of grieving.His alleged behavior is abhorrent and an affront to every law enforcement professional working for the LAPD.”
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