A veteran Los Angeles police officer who was suspended after allegedly touching a dead woman's breast while he was on duty in October, was charged with a felony on Thursday.
David Rojas, 27, was charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office with having sexual contact with human remains without authority. Rojas was arrested just before noon on Thursday and was later released on a $20,000 bond shortly after 5 p.m. jail records show.
The incident occurred when Rojas and his partner responded to a call about a deceased person at a residence in the downtown-area Central Division on Oct. 20. They discovered the dead woman's body inside and Rojas' partner returned to his patrol car, leaving Rojas with the body. Body camera footage allegedly showed the officer turn off his body-worn camera, but a feature of the camera includes a 2-minute buffer, which captured the alleged crime.
"This incident is extremely disturbing and does not represent the values of the Los Angeles Police Department," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
A detective reviewing the footage on Nov. 20 reported the lewd act and Rojas was subsequently placed on leave.
"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,” Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said in a statement Thursday. "The Los Angeles Police Protective League will not defend Mr. Rojas during his criminal proceedings, and his alleged behavior is abhorrent and an affront to every law enforcement professional working for the LAPD."
If convicted as charged, Rojas faces up to three years in state prison, according to the L.A. District Attorney's Office.