This from reporter Thomas Himes.
A Los Angeles County prosecutor said Wednesday his office will re-examine rape cases investigated by a West Covina police officer in the wake of allegations of misconduct.
Deputy District Attorney Gary Hearnsberger, who leads criminal prosecutions in the Pomona branch of the District Attorney’s Office, said rape cases worked by West Covina police Officer Tyler Kennedy would be scrutinized.
“My understanding is Kennedy is no longer working sexual assault cases, so it won’t be a problem in the future,” Hearnsberger said. “… we will have to look back … at whether there have been cases in the interim that would cause a problem.”
Kennedy could not be reached for comment at the West Covina Police Department. A cell phone assigned to him had been disconnected.
On Monday, officials suspended Kennedy for the second time in less than a year, according to department sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. The action came after a 49-year-old woman alleged Kennedy sexually harassed and propositioned her.
Kennedy was assigned to investigate an apparent spousal rape involving the alleged victim, documents show.
West Covina police Chief Frank Wills confirmed Wednesday his department is investigating Kennedy, but said the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights prohibits him from commenting.
Kennedy’s first suspension came late last year, sources said. The detective was demoted and returned to patrol after an internal affairs investigation, the sources said.
That investigation revealed Kennedy engaged in an intimate relationship with a 39-year-old woman who alleged she was sexually battered, harassed and secretly videotaped by her ex-husband in February, Hearnsberger said.
Kennedy opened an investigation into the woman’s case and arrested her ex-husband, according court documents.
On March 20, Kennedy appeared in West Covina court and asked the ex-husband, who had been released on his own recognizance, be held without bail, court documents show.
Based on Kennedy’s testimony, Judge Lesley Green increased the man’s bail to $100,000, according to court documents.
The ex-husband was subsequently charged with three misdemeanors, but the case was thrown out in November when prosecutors learned of Kennedy’s relationship with the alleged victim, Hearnsberger said.
“The relationship between Kennedy and the woman was ultimately reported to us” by internal affairs investigators, Hearnsberger said. “Because Kennedy was the investigating officer and (the relationship) calls his credibility into question … there was a decision that it wouldn’t be a viable case.”
This newspaper does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
An attorney for the woman’s ex-husband said Kennedy worked the system to keep the man in custody so the detective could continue his relationship with the 39-year-old woman.
“He had the bail imposed because he was trying to foster a relationship with the alleged victim,” said the man’s civil attorney, Arnoldo Casillas.