A veteran Los Angeles police officer pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he sexually assaulted a friend’s 13-year-old daughter in her Torrance home.

Kenneth Collard, 51, of Riverside, was charged May 14 with three counts of committing a lewd act on a child and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Collard allegedly entered the girl’s bedroom in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her while staying at his friend’s home April 4, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the girl is the daughter of another Los Angeles Police Department officer.

Collard — who faces up to 32 years in state prison if convicted as charged — was arrested May 15 by Torrance police. He was released later that day on $400,000 bond, according to jail records.

An LAPD spokesman said Collard was placed on paid administrative leave when the investigation was launched.

“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of this arrest and the department has initiated a personnel investigation; however, if the accusations are true, this officer will (be) prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and will face severe repercussions in regards to his employment as well,” according to a statement released by the LAPD after Collard’s arrest.

The union representing thousands of LAPD officers and other department personnel issued a statement saying the officer should face stiff penalties if the charges of sexual assault are proven.

“We are sickened by the repugnant allegations made against this officer, and if they are true he should be prosecuted as forcefully as possible,” according to the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “As police officers, we are sworn to protect the innocent, not to exploit them. There is absolutely no room in law enforcement or society for anyone who commits such acts, especially on a child.”

Collard is due back in a Torrance courtroom Sept. 4, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial.

He was previously in the news just over nine years ago, when he was involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect while on duty in West Los Angeles.

Late on the night of July 6, 2009, Collard was in full uniform driving a plain police car when he heard a radio call of a robbery and attempted carjacking by two suspects, at least one of them armed with a gun, according to an LAPD statement issued two days later. As he was driving east in the 11300 block of Iowa Avenue, he saw two men matching the description of the suspects, “and one of them was fighting with another man, as a woman stood nearby,” the LAPD reported then.

The man and woman were later determined to be victims of an attempted robbery, according to the LAPD, which reported that Collard stopped and got out of his car and identified himself as an LAPD officer.

One of the suspects immediately ran from the location, but the second suspect, who had been fighting with the other man when Collard drove up, “advanced towards the officer with an object in his hand,” prompting Collard to open fire, according to the LAPD.

Pedro Fernandez, a 24-year-old Tarzana resident, died at the scene, and the other suspect was subsequently arrested.

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