Of­fi­cer took teen to Six Flags on day of al­leged sex abuse

Robert Cain faces charges in con­nec­tion with on­go­ing LAPD cadet scan­dal.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - By Richard Win­ton and James Queally

The Los An­ge­les po­lice of­fi­cer ac­cused of hav­ing sex with a 15-year-old mem­ber of the depart­ment’s cadet pro­gram took the vic­tim to Six Flags Magic Moun­tain on the day of the al­leged sex­ual as­saults, ac­cord­ing to three sources with knowl­edge of the case.

Robert Cain — who was charged with mul­ti­ple sex of­fenses in con­nec­tion with the on­go­ing LAPD cadet scan­dal last month — took the 15-year-old girl to the Va­len­cia theme park on June 14, ac­cord­ing to the sources, who re­quested anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the case.

In the days af­ter the trip, Cain be­came anx­ious about his con­nec­tion to a girl, whom he did not iden­tify, ac­cord­ing to his mother, Maria Cain. The 31-year-old of­fi­cer did not de­scribe his re­la­tion­ship with the girl but ex­pressed worry about the sit­u­a­tion just days be­fore he was hand­cuffed by LAPD Chief Char­lie Beck, she said.

“Oh Mom, there is a prob­lem with a girl,” Cain said, ac­cord­ing to this mother. “I have a bad feel­ing about it.”

Maria Cain said her son had taken a girl to Magic Moun­tain that week­end but f latly de­nied that he had sex­u­ally abused a teenager or was aware cadets were steal­ing equip­ment. The depart­ment, she said, is us­ing her son as a “scape­goat” in the larger cadet scan­dal.

The trip to Magic Moun-

tain took place the same day that the LAPD learned sev­eral of its cruis­ers had been stolen by teenage mem­bers of the cadet pro­gram, spark­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion that found cadets had al­legedly been pil­fer­ing LAPD equip­ment, in­clud­ing tasers, ra­dios and a bul­let­proof vest.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the thefts re­vealed the sex abuse al­le­ga­tions against Cain, Beck has said.

Cain picked the 15-yearold cadet up from her South Los An­ge­les home on the day of the trip, and her fam­ily knew she was go­ing to the theme park with him, ac­cord­ing to two of the sources.

He was charged July 20 with two counts each of oral cop­u­la­tion of a per­son un­der the age of 16, lewd acts upon a child and un­law­ful sex­ual in­ter­course, ac­cord­ing to the Los An­ge­les County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. He is ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing the girl in three separate in­ci­dents at three dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions on June 14.

Cain’s at­tor­ney, Bill Seki, did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment. Cain has yet to en­ter a plea in re­sponse to the sex abuse al­le­ga­tions.

Seki had pre­vi­ously told The Times his client was be­ing made to take the fall for larger prob­lems within the cadet pro­gram.

“They wanted a scape­goat, and Robert has be­come that scape­goat,” Seki said.

Josh Ruben­stein, an LAPD spokesman, said he could not com­ment on the specifics of the al­le­ga­tions against Cain, cit­ing a se­ries of on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter. The depart­ment has yet to present charges to the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice re­lated to the theft of equip­ment by cadets, he said.

Asked about Cain’s mother’s claim that her son is be­ing used as a scape­goat, Ruben­stein pointed to the wide-rang­ing in­ter­nal re­views launched by Beck when news of the cadet scan­dal first came to light.

No other of­fi­cers have been ac­cused of wrong­do­ing, he said. But he cau­tioned that probes launched by in­ter­nal af­fairs, the elite Rob­bery-Homi­cide Di­vi­sion and the Ma­jor Crimes Di­vi­sion re­main ac­tive.

The scan­dal, which has sparked both an in­ter­nal re­view of the depart­ment’s sig­na­ture youth pro­gram and calls for an au­dit of all of the LAPD’s youth pro­grams, erupted on June 14, when three cadets were caught joy-rid­ing in stolen cruis­ers. The teens led of­fi­cers on two separate chases through South L.A. that ended in crashes.

Since then, seven cadets, in­clud­ing the girl po­lice say was sex­u­ally abused, have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the theft of LAPD prop­erty. All but one were ju­ve­niles, po­lice have said. Beck sus­pended the cadet pro­gram at the 77th Street and Pa­cific di­vi­sions, where the ac­cused cadets were as­signed, and ex­pelled all seven from the pro­gram.

Re­cently, the Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol con­firmed two of the cadets were also mem­bers of the CHP’s Ex­plorer pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to Lt. Saul Gomez, a spokesman for the CHP’s South­ern Di­vi­sion. An in­ter­nal re­view con­cluded that no other CHP ex­plor­ers were in­volved in the LAPD’s cadet scan­dal and that no equip­ment had been stolen from the CHP, Gomez said.

Cain re­mains jailed at the West Val­ley De­ten­tion Cen­ter in Ran­cho Cu­ca­monga, where he is await­ing trial on 10 felony weapons charges, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of as­sault weapons. Los An­ge­les po­lice of­fi­cers searched Cain’s home in con­nec­tion with the sex abuse charges last month and seized more than 100 weapons, five of which are the sub­ject of pros­e­cu­tion.

Cain pleaded not guilty to the weapons of­fenses last month. His at­tor­ney has said pros­e­cu­tors will likely try to re­solve the weapons charges be­fore try­ing him for the sex abuse al­le­ga­tions in Los An­ge­les County. He is sched­uled to ap­pear in San Bernardino County on the weapons charges Aug. 15, ac­cord­ing to court records. An ar­raign­ment on the sex abuse charges in Los An­ge­les has yet to be sched­uled.

Maria Cain said her son was not in­volved with the equip­ment thefts and would never hurt a child.

He has a long­time girl­friend, she said, and was close with his fa­ther, a veteran LAPD of­fi­cer who died of cancer in re­cent years.

Cain, a 10-year veteran of the depart­ment, man­aged the equip­ment room at the 77th Street Di­vi­sion. He pre­vi­ously worked in the Van Nuys Di­vi­sion. He had also ap­plied to work as a youth ser­vices of­fi­cer, though his ap­pli­ca­tion was de­nied, Beck said.

Beck has said the al­le­ga­tions largely fo­cused on ac­tions at the 77th Street Di­vi­sion and has sug­gested Cain was aware of, and may have even helped fa­cil­i­tate, the cadet thefts. His mother de­nied those claims.

“He only worked three days a week; what about the other ones?” she asked.

Cain at­tended col­lege two days a week, she said. He grad­u­ated June 17 from Cal State San Bernardino, earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in man­age­ment, ac­cord­ing to the univer­sity.

Cain also served in the Ma­rine Corps from 2004 to 2008, ac­cord­ing to mil­i­tary per­son­nel records. He was de­ployed to Iraq from Septem­ber 2007 to April 2008, records show.

His close re­la­tion­ship with his fa­ther, a Viet­nam War veteran, sparked his in­ter­est in firearms, his mother said. He was con­cerned that pos­ses­sion of some of those weapons might cause prob­lems, she said.

Seki, his at­tor­ney, had told The Times that Cain had been try­ing to mod­ify the weapons to com­ply with Cal­i­for­nia’s strict gun laws.

Maria Cain con­sid­ers the LAPD part of her fam­ily and has pub­lished a book of po­etry that deals, in part, with her ado­ra­tion for the agency. But af­ter the charges were filed against her son, she said she felt be­trayed by the depart­ment.

“I raised him right,” she said. “He is about law and or­der.”

Mar­cus Yam Los An­ge­les Times

AN LAPD OF­FI­CER is ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing a 15-year-old cadet, who was ar­rested with sev­eral other cadets in con­nec­tion with the theft of LAPD prop­erty.

Jae C. Hong As­so­ci­ated Press

LAPD OF­FI­CER Robert Cain faces weapons and sex abuse charges.

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