A Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of fondling a corpse during a death investigation entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment Monday, officials said.
David Rene Rojas, 27, has been charged with a count of having sexual contact with human remains, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Rojas, a 4-year veteran of the department, allegedly touched the breasts of a dead woman while investigating her overdose on Oct. 20, 2019, authorities said. He was alone with the corpse at the time.
The purported incident was uncovered during a random inspection of body-worn camera a month later, LAPD officials said.
Rojas had apparently disabled the bodycam, but the alleged incident was caught in the two-minute buffer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The allegation “disgusted” LAPD Chief Michel Moore, who in early December told KTLA, “We are going to aggressively pursue any criminal violation.”
Rojas was assigned home during the investigation and then arrested on Dec. 12. He was released from jail the same day after posting $20,000 bail, officials said.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, has publicly announced that it would not aid Rojas’ defense.
KTLA’s Dianne Sanchez contributed to this story.