Los Angeles police officer charged with off-duty rapes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with committing two rapes while off duty, authorities said Wednesday.

Officer William Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday after an investigation into a reported sexual assault of an acquaintance in November 2018 and DNA linked him to an unsolved sexual assault in August 2015, a Police Department statement said.

It was not immediately clear if Rodriguez had a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.

The department said the 10-year veteran assigned to a traffic division was in custody and had been relieved of police powers.

"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," Police Chief Michel Moore said.

Rodriguez was expected to be arraigned Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Prosecutors recommended that his bail be set at $1.2 million. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

The board of directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, said if the allegations are true, "this officer's conduct is sickening, and an absolute disgrace."

The union said it hoped the reputations of other officers would not be tarnished.