A 10-year veteran Los Angeles police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of raping two women — one in 2015 and the other in 2018 — while he was off-duty.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kevin Stennis ordered William Alexander Rodriguez, 33, to remain jailed in lieu of $1.2 million bail while awaiting his next appearance July 30 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
Defense attorney James Blatt said he will ask for Rodriguez’s bail to be lowered at the next court hearing.
He told reporters that it will be up to a jury “to determine whether these two individuals consented or not” and believes that Rodriguez will be “exonerated of all the charges.”
“All I will indicate is that these were not boyfriend and girlfriend relationships or long-term relationships,” Rodriguez’s attorney said outside court. “These were meetings that took place and subsequent sexual relations allegedly took place … This is not a DNA case. Identity I don’t believe will be an issue. The issue is whether there was consent or not.”
Rodriguez is accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance at his home last Nov. 1, according to Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise.
Rodriguez’s DNA was entered into the state’s DNA database during an investigation by the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division’s Sexual Assault Section into the alleged attack, resulting in a “cold hit” notification involving an unsolved sexual assault in which another woman was allegedly raped under similar circumstances on Aug. 16, 2015, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez was off-duty at the time of both alleged crimes, according to prosecutors.
He was arrested at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday and could face up to 30 years to life in state prison if convicted of two counts of forcible rape, along with an allegation of multiple victims.
Rodriguez was most recently assigned to the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division and has been “relieved of his police powers,” according to a statement released by the LAPD.
“When one of our own breaks the trust of the people we are sworn to protect and to serve, it tarnishes the badge we all wear proudly on our chests,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in the statement. “This arrest also reflects our commitment to pursue every lead no matter where the investigation takes us.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, issued a statement saying if the allegations are proven true, Rodriguez’s “conduct is sickening.”
“Police officers are sworn to protect people, not prey upon them,” according to the LAPPL. “We hope the victims and the public understand that the vile acts of any one individual shouldn’t tarnish the reputations of our officers who protect the people of Los Angeles on a daily basis in an honorable manner.”
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