TORRANCE (CNS) - A former Los Angeles police officer pleaded guilty Friday to sex-related charges involving a friend's 13-year-old daughter at her home in Torrance.
Kenneth Collard, 52, is facing five years in state prison in connection with his guilty plea to two counts of lewd act upon a child, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He is set to be sentenced April 19 in a Torrance courtroom.
Collard -- who was employed by the Los Angeles Police Department at the time -- entered the girl's bedroom in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her while staying at his friend's home last April 4, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The Los Angeles Times reported that last year that the girl is the daughter of another Los Angeles police officer.
He was arrested last May 15 by Torrance police and released later that day on $400,000 bond.
Collard was placed on paid administrative leave when the investigation was launched, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“Today's plea closes a disturbing chapter for this department. Ken Collard resigned from the LAPD shortly after he was charged for these deplorable crimes. When any individual harms a child it is tragic, but when an officer betrays the trust of the residents he or she has sworn to protect it is unforgivable. Collard tarnished the badge that we all wear and the department remains committed to building faith in our professionalism and integrity,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.
In a statement released shortly after Collard was charged, the Los Angeles Police Protective League said, “We are sickened by the repugnant allegations made against this officer, and if they are true he should be prosecuted as forcefully as possible. As police officers, we are sworn to protect the innocent, not to exploit them. There is absolutely no room in law enforcement or society for anyone who commits such acts, especially on a child.”
Collard was previously in the news almost a decade ago, when he was involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect while on duty in West Los Angeles.
Late on the night of July 6, 2009, Collard was in full uniform driving a plain police car when he heard a radio call of a robbery and attempted carjacking by two suspects, at least one of them armed with a gun, according to an LAPD statement issued two days later. As he was driving east in the 11300 block of Iowa Avenue, he saw two men matching the description of the suspects, “and one of them was fighting with another man, as a woman stood nearby,” the LAPD reported then.
The man and woman were later determined to be victims of an attempted robbery, according to the LAPD, which reported that Collard stopped and got out of his car and identified himself as an LAPD officer.
One of the suspects immediately ran from the location, but the second suspect, who had been fighting with the other man when Collard drove up, “advanced towards the officer with an object in his hand,” prompting Collard to open fire, according to the LAPD.
Pedro Fernandez, a 24-year-old Tarzana resident, died at the scene, and the other suspect was subsequently arrested.