A Los Angeles police officer who was arrested December 2019, and charged with fondling a dead woman’s breasts, has pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, he faces up to three years in state prison for sexual contact with human remains without authority, a felony, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
Rojas entered his plea last month in Los Angeles Superior Court, the District Attorney’s office said.
David Rojas, 27, touched the woman’s breasts while responding to a call about her death in October, a statement from the office said. The incident occurred while Rojas was alone in the room, without his partner who responded with him.
The officer disabled his body camera before fondling her, but it was caught on video when he turned it back on, a person briefed on the incident told the Associated Press. The devices have two-minute buffering periods and capture what happens right before police activate them, according to the source who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Officials found the incriminating footage during a random inspection of Rojas’ body camera footage, USAToday reported.
“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,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, said in a statement.
“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.”
“The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division”, Los Angeles Police Department said.