‘Cold’ DNA hit leads to longtime officer’s arrest for two unsolved rapes: Prosecutors

A police officer in California has been arrested after his DNA was linked to the rapes of two women, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Los Angeles Police Department officer William Rodriguez, 33, was charged with two counts of forcible rape for attacks which occurred in November 2018 and August 2015. Citing investigators, KABC reported that the attacks occurred when Rodriguez, a 10-year veteran of the department, was off duty.

According to the Los Angeles Times, authorities zeroed in on Rodriguez following a November 1 report of a sexual assault involving the officer’s acquaintance at his home. Their investigation reportedly uncovered that August 2015 assault allegedly involved Rodriguez and prosecutors said were similar in nature.

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Prosecutors revealed that Rodriguez was linked to both crimes when his DNA was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and produced a “cold hit.”

“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,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement. “This arrest also reflects our commitment to pursue every lead no matter where the investigation takes us.”

Rodriguez was most recently assigned to the Valley Traffic Division in Van Nuys. He’s been relieved of his duties in light of Tuesday’s arrest.

LAPD Captain Gisselle Espinoza said they couldn’t confirm whether there are additional victims as their investigation is ongoing.

KTLA reported that Rodriguez remains jailed on $1.2 million bail.

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[Featured image: KABC video screengrab]