November 10, 2017
The consequences of a lack of supervision of LAPD cadets lead to the revelation that a 15-year-old girl was sexually abused by a former Los Angeles police officer while she was part of the department’s cadet program this past summer.
The victim filed a claim against the city alleging that the police officer was improperly supervised.
Cadets Involved in High-Speed Chases with Stolen LAPD Vehicles
The girl was also involved with a group of cadets at the 77th Street and Pacific divisions to steal LAPD squad cars and other equipment, police said. Two high-speed chases this summer involving stolen LAPD vehicles ended in crashes. Three cadets were arrested initially, with four more also charged.
“The 77th Street Division improperly supervised its police officers,” the girl’s attorney said. “The captains, lieutenants and commanders improperly supervised the cadet program and gave officers too much access with the kids. They didn’t really have hands-on control.”
LAPD suspects that the juvenile cadets exploited flaws in the kit room computer system and gained access to the squad cars and other equipment. Police admitted that the thefts went unnoticed for several weeks. The department believes the cadets impersonated officers during several traffic stops, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Former Officer Accused of Six Sex Crimes
After the cadets were arrested, LAPD discovered the alleged sexual abuse of the girl by former Officer Robert Cain. He was charged with six felonies. Cain also faces weapons charges in San Bernardino County, as a result of the seizure of weapons at his home in Rancho Cucamonga. Police recovered over 70 rifles during the search.
Cain was a member of the LAPD’s 77th Street Division. He resigned his position after his arrest.
Cain allegedly was transferred from the Van Nuys Division because of a personnel complaint. The victim’s attorney claims that his commanding officers were aware that he was a “problem officer” who shouldn’t have been permitted unsupervised access to minors.
The LAPD conducted its own investigation into the cadet program. They announced a series of changes in August, including restricting one-on-one contact between cadets and officers, instituting formal training for Youth Services officers, and developing guidelines for social media interaction between cadets and department personnel.
A spokesman for the LAPD, said the department could not comment on pending litigation but that it has “conducted a `top to bottom’ review of our cadet program earlier this year, and working collaboratively with the inspector general, and the Board of Police Commissioners took aggressive steps to ensure youth program participants are always safe in our care.”
Cain was held over for trial on the weapons charges. The criminal proceedings against him in LA County for the sexual assault are paused while the weapons case moves forward in San Bernardino.
Cain’s initial appearance on charges of oral copulation with a minor and lewd acts with a juvenile was delayed in July. That arraignment has yet to be rescheduled, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Sexual assault by a police officer must be one of the most horrible acts in our society. Law enforcement is sworn to protect our children, and it’s tragic when the trust we place in those agencies is betrayed.
If your child has been the victim of any kind of sexual abuse, contact a law firm with a reputation for fierce client advocacy and an unwavering commitment to results. The dedicated lawyers at The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP, have been fighting for the rights of children in California and across the U.S. for more than 25 years. We seek maximum compensation for our clients and work to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable for the harm they cause.
Contact The Cifarelli Law Firm, LLP for a free and confidential consultation about your child’s claim with a member of our legal team. You can reach our office by phone at (949) 502-8600, or via email using the form on our website.