Los Angeles, CA — As active readers of the Free Thought Project know, police sexual misconduct is a widespread problem. Second only to police brutality complaints, sexual misconduct complaints are rampant throughout all 50 states. Tragically, many of these crimes are committed against society's most vulnerable—children. As the following case out of Los Angeles illustrates, even the daughters of police officers are not off limits when it comes to predator cops.
A former officer with the LAPD pleaded guilty on Friday to raping a 13-year-old girl. The girl was the the daughter of his good friend—who is also a fellow cop.
Kenneth Collard, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd act upon a child in the April 4, 2018 attack, during which he was still employed as a police officer, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. He is expected to be sentenced to 5 years behind bars.
The deal was reached as part of a plea agreement between Collard and the District Attorney's office. Collard was originally facing up to 32 years in prison but a third count of lewd acts and one count of sexual penetration by foreign object were apparently dropped during the plea.
According to the investigation, Collard had been out drinking with the victim's parents that night and was invited to sleep over at the family's home instead of driving drunk. During the middle of the night, Collard got up and went into the child's bedroom, where he raped her.
The sexual assault was confirmed by forensic evidence obtained during the investigation.
In a statement, the Los Angeles Police Protective League board of directors said, “as police officers, we are sworn to protect the innocent, not to exploit them. There is absolutely no room in law enforcement or society for anyone who commits such acts, especially on a child.”
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The LAPD also issued a statement in regard to the case, distancing themselves from the officer and decrying the horrific act.
“When any individual harms a child it is tragic, but when an officer betrays the trust of the residents he or she has sworn to protect it is unforgivable,” the emailed statement read. “Collard tarnished the badge that we all wear and the Department remains committed to building faith in our professionalism and integrity.”
While the department claims this is an isolated incident, Collard is the fourth cop in just 14 months to be be sentenced to prison for sexual assault.
As KTLA points out,
In February 2018 former officers Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols pleaded no contest to forcibly raping multiple women while on duty, and this January the city agreed to pay $1.8 million to one of the victims.
Last August, former officer Robert Cain pleaded no contest to statutory rape in the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old member of the department’s cadet program. In her victim statement, the teen called Cain a “monster” and said she “no longer felt safe around anyone.”
As TFTP has reported, a study exposed the startling fact that police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day. Many of these arrests are over unspeakable sex crimes.
“Police crimes are not uncommon,” the study's lead researcher Philip M. Stinson concluded. “Our data directly contradicts some of the prevailing assumptions and the proposition that only a small group of rotten apples perpetrate the vast majority of police crime.” Although nearly 60 percent of the crimes “occurred when the officer was technically off-duty,” Stinson wrote, “a significant portion of these so-called off-duty crimes also lies within the context of police work and the perpetrator’s role as a police officer, including instances where off-duty officers flash a badge, an official weapon, or otherwise use their power, authority, and the respect afforded to them as a means to commit crime.”
According to a report from WaPo, in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, 72 percent of the officers were fired, and more than 80 percent resulted in convictions, the study found. There were 422 reported cases of forcible and statutory rape, 352 cases of forcible fondling and 94 sodomy cases over the seven years of the study, which Stinson called “larger than expected based on the existing research.” The data search turned up 174 examples of male officers arrested in cases of “Driving While Female,” in which women drivers were harassed or assaulted. About 82 percent of those cases ended in convictions.