LAPD officer arrested, charged after allegedly seen on camera fondling woman's corpse, authorities say

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles Police Department officer has been arrested after body camera footage allegedly caught him fondling a female corpse, authorities said.

Officer David Rojas, a four-year veteran of the department, was arrested by internal affairs investigators Thursday morning. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office filed charges of "sexual contact with remains known to be human," according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Prosecutors say he faces one felony count. LAPD says the allegations were brought to the department's attention during the investigation of a woman who died of an overdose and that the department learned about the allegation on Nov. 20.

Rojas, who worked with LAPD's Central Division, had gone with a partner to a death investigation at a home on Oct. 20. At one point during the investigation, the officer's partner had left the room.

Sources say the officer turned off the recording on his body camera and then lifted the sheet off the woman's body and allegedly began feeling her nipples and fondling her breasts.

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He later turned the body camera recording back on. But the cameras used by the department have a video buffering that saves footage going back for two minutes prior to the recording function being activated.

A detective who was later reviewing bodycam video for the investigation saw the fondling on video and reported him in November.

The officer was pulled from the field and assigned to home duty after this incident came to light, according to LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein.

In a statement, Chief Michel Moore called the incident "extremely disturbing," adding that it does not represent the values of the department.

The union representing LAPD sworn officers says it will not defend 27-year-old Rojas during his criminal proceedings.

Rojas' bail has been set at $20,000 with a court date pending.
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