Third Officer Case Dismissed in Sexual Misconduct Scandal Involving Teen - NBC Bay Area
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Third Officer Case Dismissed in Sexual Misconduct Scandal Involving Teen

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    A wide-reaching police officer sexual misconduct case involving an East Bay teenager is unraveling, according to one defense attorney. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017)

    A wide-reaching police officer sexual misconduct case involving an East Bay teenager is unraveling, according to one defense attorney.

    Prosecutors on Thursday dropped the charges against Oakland police Officer Giovanni LoVerde, a day after a judge dismissed charges against another officer, Contra Costa sheriff's deputy Ricardo Perez, in the case alleging multiple East Bay law enforcement officers had sex with a teenager, some when she was underage.

    Last month, a judge tossed out the case against police Officer Brian Bunton, citing a lack of evidence.

    "I think it's politics at its very worst," said defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who is representing LoVerde. "Nothing but politics. These cops get accused, the DA bit and said we're filing without vetting all the evidence.

    "Where's the proof? There's nothing," he said.

    Of the seven officers charged in the sexual misconduct case involving teen Jasmin Abuslin, three have had their cases dropped or dismissed, and three have struck plea deals. None has received jail time. Civil rights attorney Pamela Price says that's an injustice.

    "The community has the right to expect we're going to be able to hold police officers accountable when they're accused of engaging in misconduct, and that totally has not happened," Price said.

    Abuslin never wanted the officers prosecuted and is satisfied they've faced discipline with their departments, according to her attorney. He said she wants to move on. But Cardoza said the officers have been unfairly dragged through the mud.

    "People are going to remember people like LoVerde," he said. "They're not going to remember the case was dismissed because of no evidence."

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