LAPD officer accused of sexually assaulting 15yo cadet

LAPD officer accused of sexually assaulting 15yo cadet
The Los Angeles Police Department’s youth cadet program is under fire as seven cadets have been arrested over the theft of police vehicles and equipment while an officer is accused of sexually assaulting one of those cadets, 15.

Officer Robert Cain of the LAPD’s 77th street division was charged Thursday with two counts of oral copulation with a person under the age of 16.

He was also charged with lewd acts on a child and unlawful sexual intercourse, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

The officer allegedly had sex with the under age girl at three different locations, in three separate incidents on June 14. He faces a maximum state prison sentence of seven years and eight months, if convicted. Deputy District Attorney, David Reinert, will be prosecuting the case against Cain.

The scandal erupted  at the department last month, when it was revealed that three cadets – in the LAPD’s signature youth cadet program – led officers on two separate police chases with stolen police cruisers which resulted in crashes in the south of the city, the LA Times reported.

The 15-year-old, the subject of the sexual assault, was among the seven cadets who were arrested after the investigation into the stolen property.

The LAPD finally caught up with the officer after an investigation into the stolen police property, which revealed texts messages on the 15-year-old’s phone that implied that Cain had an “inappropriate relationship” with her.

On June 22, the same day he was being pursued for the sexual assault charges, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck arrested Cain at his Rancho Cucamonga home in San Bernardino County and was booked into the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department separately for 10 felony counts of weapons charges after a search of his home led to officers finding a cache of guns, according to the LA times.

The text messages on the teen’s phone also revealed that Cain may have knowingly helped the cadets obtain the stolen police property from the June investigation, which included tasers and a bullet proof vest, the LA times reported.

READ MORE: Oakland city council pays nearly $1mn to 19yo woman over police sex assault scandal

The officer was supposed to be arraigned in a downtown LA courtroom Friday morning for the recent sexual assault charges, but it was delayed because Cain is still in the custody of San Bernardino County, in relation to the weapons charges. His bail is currently set at $250,000.

Bill Seki, Cain’s attorney, defended his client in the case of the 15-year-old and suggested that he is taking the fall for wider issues concerning the youth cadet program. “They wanted a scapegoat, and Robert has become that scapegoat,” Seki said, the LA Times reported.

The attorney also described why his client had a large cache of weapons in his San Bernardino County home, saying that Cain is an enthusiast of military history and had been attempting to modify his weapons to meet California state compliance laws. Seki further claims that only four of the more than 100 weapons seized by the LAPD during the June 22 arrest, are able to be subjected to prosecution in San Bernardino County.