Los Angeles deputy pleads not guilty to sex with 15-year-old girl


John Augustus Rose, a 22-year veteran of the sheriff's department, is charged with 17 felony counts, including four counts of lewd act on a child, six counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, five counts of oral copulation of a person under 16, one count of contact with a minor for sexual offense and one count of possession of matter depicting minor engaging in sexual conduct.

Rose, 43, pleaded not guilty to all counts. Throughout the proceeding on Monday, Rose's attorneys blocked him from the camera's view.

His lawyer asked that he be released on his own recognizance, citing that Rose is a Medal of Valor winner and comes from a law enforcement family. The alleged victim is the daughter of a family friend.

Defense attorney Sharon Babakhan said Rose is not a violent person and that he put his own life on the line for the community by helping a woman escape her burning home. She said there was no evidence of violence in this case.

The prosecution painted a different picture, saying Rose violated the trust he had with the community. Prosecutors said that on seven occasions, Rose allegedly drove the victim in his sheriff's vehicle to engage in sexual acts with the teen. They also said he told the alleged victim to send him nude photos of herself.

"When this began to come to light, the defendant told the victim to lie and say that those photographs were sent to his 14-year-old son," said Deputy District Attorney Rosa Alarcon.

The judge ordered Rose to remain in custody with his bail set at $605,000. Rose has been stripped of his duties as a deputy and placed on unpaid leave.

If convicted on all counts, Rose faces more than 13 years in state prison.

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