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LAPD officer's own body cam captured him allegedly touching dead woman's breast

Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Since the Los Angeles Police Department started rolling out body cameras worn by officers, the videos have captured confrontations with suspects, pursuits and other high-profile interactions.

But authorities allege a body camera worn by Officer David Rojas recently captured something highly disturbing: the lawman fondling a dead woman's breasts.

Rojas was arrested and charged this week in a case that Police Chief Michel Moore said "disgusted" him.

Here is what we know:

-- How was the incident captured on video?

Rojas and his partner responded to a call about a possible dead woman in a residential unit, sources said. Once the two officers determined the woman was dead, Rojas' partner returned to the patrol car to retrieve something. During that time, LAPD officials say Rojas turned off his body-worn camera and fondled the woman's breasts.

 

Although the officer deactivated his camera, a two-minute buffer on the device recorded the incident, officials say. In addition to allegations of assault, the department also is investigating Rojas' work history.

Currently, when an LAPD officer turns his or her camera on, it automatically begins saving video and audio starting two minutes before the activation. It's unclear how long the alleged fondling occurred or what caused Rojas to later activate his body camera.

-- What charges does Rojas face?

The officer was charged with a felony violation of the state safety codes covering sexual actions with human remains. He could not be reached for comment.

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