Cop Who Had Sex With Minor Will Not Face Any Charges
SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA – 11 July, 2018
Marco Becerra resigned in late October 2017, after he “confessed to being in a sexual relationship with the victim,” a city police sergeant wrote in a court declaration. On Nov. 8th, Alameda County prosecutors charged Becerra, 26, with three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, known as statutory rape.
“This relationship in every sense was consensual,” Rains told The Chronicle last year. “There were strong emotional feelings by both parties, and despite that she was just shy of 18, the law says it was illegal.”
“As a law enforcement officer he knows he’s not above the law,” Rains added. “He accepted responsibility. He wanted to do the right thing.”
Maybe the right thing was not to have sex with the minor while being in a position of power?
The Alameda County district attorney’s office dismissed three statutory rape charges against Becerra. He was a SWAT team member and instructor in the San Leandro Police Department’s Explorers program. This program is designed for young people interested in law enforcement careers. He developed a sexual relationship in late 2017 with a 17-year-old girl participating in the program while being a mentor, authorities said.
The young woman, who is an adult now, declined to press charges, said Teresa Drenick, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County district attorney’s office. Due to this, the case was dismissed in mid-June.
In the Democratic state of California, sexual crimes are distinct from other criminal actions because alleged victims of sexual assault or misconduct have the right to decline to press charges or proceed with prosecution at any time. The victim told investigators she met Becerra in the Explorers program. She corresponded with him on the phone and through social media, according to court records.
The Explorer program was suspended by the Police Department soon after the incident, but after an “extensive” internal review the program was restarted and running by February, said Police Chief Jeff Tudor.
“The behavior of our former officer was not tolerated and will not be tolerated,” he said. “I’m very proud of my staff and how quickly we handled it with integrity and professionalism.”
The department made changes to Explorers program policies based on the internal review, such as creating a “more defined” role of direct supervision between instructors and students, allowing Explorers to go on ride-alongs only with officers of the same gender, and adding rules on when and how instructors can contact Explorers, Tudor said.
The police chief also met with parents of Explorers and discussed “different ways to facilitate better communication with the parents.”
“This was a mutual relationship, and after doing our audit, we felt it was nothing systemic within the program, and we had a lot of support from our other Explorers’ families who were concerned we’d disband the program,” Tudor said. “After doing this audit, I was confident that we looked at all angles of this and that we could restart the program.”
We remind you what Chief Tudor wrote in his statement: “I am upset and disappointed by the unethical and criminal behavior of one of our officers. These actions are absolutely inconsistent with the ethical standards of the San Leandro Police Department, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior.”