A 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department is facing life in prison after the department’s investigation into a rape accusation linked him to another unsolved sexual assault from 2015.
William Rodriguez, 33, was arrested and charged with two counts of forcible rape, with a special allegation of multiple victims Tuesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Rodriguez is accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance at his home last November.
Police said when they entered Rodriguez’s DNA into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System they got a “cold hit” on a sexual assault that occurred in August 2015. That assault involved another woman who was raped “under similar circumstances,” the DA’s office said.
“We know only of those two,” LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza told the Los Angeles Times when asked if investigators think there could be more victims. “But like with any investigation, we will follow the evidence as far as it takes us.”
Rodriguez was most recently assigned to the traffic division, according to police, and both assaults occurred when he was off duty. He is currently in custody and has been relieved of his 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,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Police Michel Moore said in a statement. “This arrest also reflects our commitment to pursue every lead no matter where the investigation takes us.”
Prosecutors say Rodriguez is expected to be arraigned Thursday and have recommended bail be set at $1.2 million. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in state prison. He has since pleaded not guilty.