Prosecutors filed charges Friday against a Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of beating and seriously injuring his girlfriend on three separate occasions in recent months, including an assault on Wednesday, authorities said.
Ricardo Hernandez, 33, faces three felony counts of domestic violence, along with a special allegation of inflicting “great bodily injury,” according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling.
“The defendant, a Los Angeles police officer, is accused of injuring the victim on three separate occasions beginning in April,” Risling said in a written statement. “In each of the incidents, the most recent occurring on Sept. 4, the victim suffered serious injuries.”
Hernandez was arrested shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday by deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Santa Clarita Valley Station, county booking records show.
He could face a maximum sentence of 10 years and 4 months in state prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said. He was yet to enter a plea Wednesday.
In a statement issued Friday night, the LAPD said the allegations were being taken seriously.
“No police officer is above the law and this department has no tolerance for domestic violence in the community or within our ranks,” the statement said.
“We are conducting a thorough administrative investigation, and if the allegations prove to be true the punishment will be swift and severe,” according to the LAPD statement. “Police Officer II Ricardo Hernandez has been assigned home and has been relieved of his police officer powers. Whenever one of our own violates the law and breaks the trust of the community it tarnishes the badge we all wear.”
Bail was initially set at $50,000 at arrest, but increased to $240,000 upon the filing of charges, according to officials and booking records. Hernandez was scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Sept. 12.