A 10-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department was charged with two counts of rape Wednesday after a DNA match linked him to a second sexual assault case, authorities announced.
Police Officer II William Rodriguez, 33, was arrested Tuesday evening and is being held at the Men’s Central Jail on $1.2 million bail, according to county inmate records.
He was most recently assigned to LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division and has since been “relieved of his police powers,” the Police Department said.
Rodriguez was accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance at his home on Nov. 1, 2018.
After that incident was reported, officials entered his DNA into the state’s database and received a “cold hit” notification that linked him to an earlier case in August 2015, according to police.
That assault involved a second female victim and happened “under similar circumstances” to the first rape, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office said. Rodriguez was off duty at the time of both incidents, the DA’s office said.
LAPD and the union representing the city’s police officers condemned the alleged actions.
“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,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League said it stands with the victims seeking justice for “these heinous acts.”
“If these allegations are true, this officer’s conduct is sickening, and an absolute disgrace. … If found guilty, William Rodriguez should serve a long prison sentence. Police officers are sworn to protect people, not prey upon them,” the union said in a statement.
The union also said the actions of one individual should not tarnish the reputation of the entire police force.
The arrest reflects the LAPD’s “commitment to pursue every lead,” Moore said.
Rodriguez was charged with two counts of forcible rape with a special allegation of multiple victims. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years to life in state prison, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Authorities provided no further details about the case, which remains under investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Sharlene Johnson, Serial No. 31825, at 213-486-6910. Tipsters can call 877-527-3247 after business hours and during the weekend. Those who wish to remain anonymous can dial Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”