Update: LA officers charged with child abuse plead not guilty
Update posted Sept. 22, 10 a.m.
– The three officers charged with multiple misdemeanor counts of unlawful corporal punishment and child endangerment entered pleas of not guilty today at their arraignment, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney.
The court set a trial setting conference in Dept. 9 on Dec. 3. Bail remains as previously set and posted.
Original story posted Sept. 21
– Three southern California police officers were charged Friday by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney with multiple counts of misdemeanor child abuse. Charges include corporal punishment causing injury to a child, cruelty to a child, and battery.
All three officers were part of the cadre of instructors at a “boot camp” program entitled L.E.A.D (Leadership, Empowerment, and Discipline) which was coordinated and staffed by the Huntington Park Police Department and Southgate Police Department. The alleged child abuse occurred between the dates of May 17, and May 24, at a training facility on Camp San Luis Obispo where L.E.A.D. has conducted its program annually since May 2007.
The ten alleged victims are minors between the ages of 12 and 16.
Defendants 35-year-old Edgar Yovany Gomez and 32-year-old Carlos Manuel Gomez-Marquez were employed by South Gate Police Department as police officers and defendant 36-year-old Marissa Elizabeth Larios was employed by Huntington Park Police Department as a police officer.
Charges include that the defendants, “willfully and unlawfully inflict(ed) cruel and inhuman corporal punishment and injury, resulting in a traumatic condition (of the child),” and caused, “unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering…” among others.
All three defendants are scheduled to appear for arraignment in Department 10 of the Superior Court on Monday at 8:30 a.m. All three defendants remain out of custody having filed a bond with the court. Deputy District Attorney Craig van Rooyen is assigned to prosecute the case.
This case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.