A former Los Angeles police officer who admitted molesting a fellow cop’s 13-year-old daughter was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
The victim’s father told the court that he allowed Kenneth Collard into his family’s Torrance home and was betrayed by his closest friend and colleague.
“You have broken that trust and my whole family has felt the effects,” the officer said.
The victim’s mother also directly addressed Collard at the sentencing hearing.
“You stole her innocence … Thank God we believed her,” she told the 52-year-old defendant, adding, “May every hour you spend in prison spend like 100.”
The girl and her two sisters also gave victim impact statements.
Collard — who was employed by the Los Angeles Police Department at the time — entered the victim’s bedroom in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted her while staying at his friend’s home on April 4, 2018.
When he pleaded guilty to two counts of committing a lewd act on a child on April 5, the LAPD issued a statement saying the “plea closes a disturbing chapter for this department. Ken Collard resigned from the LAPD shortly after he was charged for these deplorable crimes. When any individual harms a child it is tragic, but when an officer betrays the trust of the residents he or she has sworn to protect it is unforgivable. Collard tarnished the badge that we all wear and the department remains committed to building faith in our professionalism and integrity.”
The defendant did not address the court before being sentenced by Judge Nicole C. Bershon, but his wife, father, ex-wife, two daughters and his former wife’s husband did.
Collard’s wife said she’s been married to him for five years, and has known him for 10 years, calling him the “most caring, generous, selfless man that I’ve ever met.”
She said Collard rescued a couple being attacked by carjackers and came to the aid of a girl whose arm was severed in a car accident.
“In my eyes, my husband is a hero,” she said. “I love my husband with all my heart. I stand by him with the knowledge of the real him.”
Collard was previously in the news almost a decade 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 unmarked 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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