LAPD Officer Arrested For Allegedly Having Sex With 15-Year-Old Cadet
A 31-year-old LAPD officer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of unlawful sex with a 15-year-old member of the police force's beleaguered cadet program.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck personally arrested Officer Robert Cain, a 10-year veteran of the force, at the 77th Street Community Police Station. Today's arrest is the latest installment in a scandal that began last week, when members of the cadet program were first suspected of having stolen and crashed several police cruisers. KTLA reports that the victim worked at the 77th Street Division and was among the seven cadets who have been arrested in recent days in connection with the theft of several police cruisers.
The sexual misconduct allegations were first uncovered on Wednesday during a larger investigation into the program, according to the L.A. Times, who report that Cain, who worked as an equipment room operator at the 77th Street Division, may have had knowledge of the alleged thefts.
"I find the actions of Cain, if they are proven, to be despicable," Beck said at a press conference on Thursday. "I find them to be absolutely inconsistent with the ethics and standards of the Los Angeles Police Department and they are criminal. And I'm a police officer and I was—I felt it was my duty to make the arrest.''
The alleged sexual relationship appears to have occurred "within the past month," according to Beck, who also said that phone records and social media exchanges are still being examined by investigators. Evidence of the alleged relationship came to the investigators' attention after reviewing text messages on the teen victim's cell phone.
"There is no higher priority than protecting and guiding our young people, and when they become LAPD cadets, every parent should feel confident that they will be treated with the utmost care every step of the way," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "The charges against this officer are deeply disturbing, and I have been assured he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. These allegations represent a total breach of the trust we place in everyone who wears the uniform and a violation of the oath of all officers take to protect and serve."
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents police officers, also condemned the officer's alleged actions. "If these disgusting allegations are true, we applaud the department for taking swift action to arrest this individual for this vile crime. There should be zero tolerance for any officer who takes advantage of those they are entrusted to protect," the union said in a statement.