Prosecutors filed a felony charge Thursday against a Los Angeles police officer accused of inappropriately touching the breasts of a dead woman while investigating her overdose earlier this year, officials said.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer II David Rene Rojas, 27, described as a 4-year veteran of the department, faces a count of having sexual contact with human remains, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and county booking records.
The alleged crime, which LAPD Chief Michel Moore described as “disgusting,” took place on Oct. 20 when Rojas and his partner responded to the fatal overdose of a woman, officials said.
“While he was alone in the room, the defendant allegedly touched the woman’s breasts,” DA’s office spokesman Greg Risling said in a written statement.
The misconduct was discovered when Rojas’ body camera footage was reviewed on Nov. 20, LAPD officials said.
“Investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Criminal Investigations Division worked diligently to complete their investigation, which was presented to the district attorney’s office on Dec. 10,” police said in a written statement.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said it will not be assisting in Rojas’ defense.
“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 LAPPL Board of Directors said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon. “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.”
Rojas was arrested shortly before noon and released from jail Thursday afternoon after posting $20,000 bail, officials said. His arraignment hearing was yet to be scheduled.
If convicted as charged, Rojas could face up to three years in state prison.
KTLA’s Erika Martin contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this article included an incorrect date for when the investigation began, provided by police. The story has been updated.