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LAPD officer investigated in alleged sexual assault of minor

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© Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times

By Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Police Department has started an administrative investigation of an officer accused of sexually assaulting a minor, officials said.

The officer, who has not been identified, has been assigned to stay home while the investigation continues, according to the LAPD. Authorities directed further questions to the Torrance Police Department, which is investigating the case.

Torrance police would only confirm that they are investigating the sexual assault of a minor.

“The suspect will not be identified at this time, as this could compromise the investigation,” said Torrance police Sgt. Ronald Harris. “No arrests have been made and the Torrance police department has and will continue to work alongside the district attorney’s office in this case.”

KNBC-TV reported that the investigation involves the alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. The station also reported that the officer was hired by the LAPD in October 1995 and was involved in a police fatal shooting in 2009.

The investigation comes on the heels of a series of arrests of LAPD officers. On April 24, an off-duty officer was arrested at a San Diego County checkpoint after Border Patrol agents found two men in his car who were in the country illegally, authorities said. Mambasse Patara — a 42-year-old officer assigned to the LAPD's South Traffic Division — later pleaded not guilty to federal charges of transporting people who were in the country illegally.

The same day, Officer John Bailey was arrested and charged with workers' compensation fraud, the LAPD said. Bailey, 43, was assigned to the department's Van Nuys Division.

On April 27, LAPD Cmdr. Nicole Mehringer was booked by Glendale police on suspicion of being intoxicated in public. James Kelly, who is listed as a sergeant in LAPD records, was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Glendale police Sgt. Dan Suttles said Mehringer was not cited and won't be charged. Mehringer, who is identified on the LAPD website as Nicole Alberca, is one of 20 commanders in the 10,000-officer LAPD, reporting directly to Chief Charlie Beck. Beck promoted her to commander in March 2017, placing her in charge of the department's employee relations group.

brittny.mejia@latimes.com

Twitter: @Brittny_Mejia

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