Sheriff's detectives say that on Saturday morning, Officer Miguel Schiappapietra, 28, allegedly lured two girls under 10 years old to his home on the 28000 block of Branch Road in Castaic. The officer is accused of committing lewd acts with the girls.
The six-year veteran of the force on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea on two counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14. His bail was set at $200,000.
"We asked the judge to reduce the bail and, understandably, base on the charges, the judge has to presume they are true. Our office, in fact, does not believe the validity in the allegations in this case, and we will be making a subsequent motion to reduce the bail so we can get our client home, out of custody, which is where he belongs," said defense attorney David Diamond.
Schiappapietra was assigned to the Foothill Division. Neighbors in his community spoke to Eyewitness News. One is a former Los Angeles police officer who wanted his identity shielded.
"I had a pride when I put on the badge, when I put on the uniform. I imagine this individual did too, to a point, and he just let his demons get the best of him," the former officer said. "I feel sorry for his wife just being shrouded in secrecy of this alleged behavior."
Some residents say the officer and his family moved into the community a few months ago. They say several law enforcement families live in the neighborhood, and they are all shocked.
"He's got kids of his own, and he is a police officer, you feel like you should be protected in a neighborhood with a police officer," said Jennifer Frank of Castaic.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Special Victims Unit is investigating the case. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273.