LAPD officer accused of having sex with underage cadet released on bail

Robert Cain, 31, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old cadet arrested last week in connection with the theft of three LAPD patrol vehicles, has been assigned to the LAPD's 77th Street Division for the past two years, Beck said after announcing the arrest of the officer during a press conference on Thursday.

The officer, Robert Cain, 31, who works at the 77th Division, faces charges of unlawful sex with a minor, Beck said.

Beck said the relationship between Cain and the 15-year-old girl appeared to be short-term, occurring "within the past month", but he said investigators were still looking through phone records and social media.

LOS ANGELES A 10-year Los Angeles police officer is now at the center of the department's growing cadet program scandal.

Beck said that Cain was not involved in the cadet program, but ran the program to rent out equipment that the cadets used to check out equipment.

The LAPD has been reviewing its cadet program since three teens were arrested last week for allegedly stealing police cruisers and going on patrol.

The chief also said he "was not sure" how long the cars had been missing, but one of them may have been gone for two weeks.

Investigators believe the cadets used their knowledge of the LAPD's computer inventory system to check the vehicles out under the name of a sergeant who was on vacation, Beck said. Cain also allegedly knew of, and helped facilitate, the string of thefts that has rattled the department in recent days, Beck said.

The alleged victim was among the group of cadets arrested in connection with the vehicle theft, Beck said. The 2,300 cadets who are enrolled can perform traffic duties and crowd control but are not sworn police officers. Officers chased two of the stolen cruisers through South L.A. on June 14, resulting in separate auto crashes. Cadets from both stations have been arrested. The only adult among them has been identified: 18-year-old Leonel Roberto Flores, who was arrested on suspicion of unlawful driving of an emergency vehicle.

One cruiser crashed in the area of 77th and San Pedro streets, where the driver was taken into custody, police said. No one was injured.

The reputation of the LAPD's cadet youth program should not be tarnished by the actions of a few, according to Craig Lally, President of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

- Over the weekend, the LAPD suspended the program at its 77th Street and Pacific divisions, where the young people involved served. Authorities found two Tasers and two radios as well as a bullet proof vest that one of the suspects was wearing when he was taken into custody. Cain was not assigned to the department's youth programs and does not have a significant disciplinary history, Beck said.

  • Larry Hoffman