Even with modern technology, some cases turn cold. Since 2015, a sexual assault case in Los Angeles has remained unsolved until now… when a Los Angeles Police Officer’s DNA matched that of a second rape years later.
Thirty-three year old Los Angeles Police Officer William Rodriguez has been charged with two counts of forcible rape with a special allegation of multiple victims, a Los Angeles Country press release reveals.
Rodriguez was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his residence in the late fall of 2018. When DNA evidence was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), it prompted a “cold hit” notification, according to the press release. The original assault occurred in 2015 with another woman under very similar circumstances.
Rodriguez has served with the Los Angeles Police Department for more than ten years. He was assigned to the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, according to a News Release from the Los Angeles Police Department. Rodriguez is currently incarcerated and has been relieved of his police powers.
Los Angeles Police are taking the situation seriously.
“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… This arrest also reflects our commitment to pursue every lead no matter where the investigation takes us,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police Michel Moore was quoted in the official LAPD New Release.
It has been determined that Rodriguez was off duty at the time of both sexual assaults.
Rodriguez is currently held on bail set and $1.2 million. Should he be convicted, he faces up to 30 years to life in state prison. His attorney James Blatt provided a statement to KTLA claiming:
“The fact is that there is no criminal record, he has strong family ties to the community and we don’t anticipate him being any danger to the community.”
Anyone with further information is asked to contact Robbery- Homicide Division Sexual Assault Section, Detective Sharlene Johnson, Serial No. 31825 at (213) 486-6910. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”
The Los Angeles arrest comes just days after a former Tallahassee Police officer accepted a plea deal for the rape of a female motorist, also occurring in 2018. Former officer Vincent Crump pulled the woman over during a traffic stop.
According to WFSU’s Lynn Hatter, Crump advised the woman that he smelled marijuana and implied that he had leverage to protect her if she complied with his requests. Fearing that she would be arrested, the woman moved her vehicle to a nearby parking lot where the uniformed officer had sex with her. She reported the incident as a rape and Crump was terminated by Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo the following day, according to Hatter.
On Friday, Crump pleaded to felony aggravated assault. He had originally claimed that the encounter was consensual.
Tallahassee Democrat’s Karl Etters reports that State Attorney Sarah Dugan gave a text message statement that:
“He won’t ever be in a position of power or authority ever again as a law enforcement officer and be able to put any other woman in the position that this victim was in… Hopefully, by his career being taken away, him having to plea to a felony, go to jail, and be on probation it will show that we take law enforcement officers abusing their power very seriously, and we will work to hold them accountable even if there are multiple hung juries.”
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