A former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy charged on suspicion of possessing child pornography returned to court Friday.
Scott T. Rodriguez, an employee of LASD until he was dismissed from county service on Jan. 22, the same day the charges against him were filed by the District Attorney’s Office, was said to have been in possession of the pornography on or about July 18, 2019, according to case’s lead investigator at the LASD Department of Internal Criminal Investigations.
Rodriguez was arraigned March 17 at the Clara Foltz Criminal Justice Center on one count of possessing child pornography; a charge on which he was held to answer.
On April 26, Rodriguez entered a not-guilty plea to the charge against him, however, he was asked to return to the courthouse once again Friday to be arraigned on the single count, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court website.
Officials from the District Attorney’s Office had not responded to requests for comment regarding the discrepancy as of the publication of this article. A request to pull the physical case file on Rodriguez at Clara Foltz before the Friday hearing was largely devoid of any additional information on the case, such as the complete testimony of lead investigator Roger Ballesteros given May 7, and gave access to only the initial criminal complaint listing the charge and court officials involved in the proceedings, a brief minute order of previous appearances and a confidential parole file.
Deputy District Attorney Teresa De Castro of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Cyber Crimes Division is scheduled to be the prosecutor for the case. Rodriguez is represented by Michael Williamson, a retired LAPD sergeant who specializes in officer-involved shootings and/or other matters involving law enforcement internal investigation cases.
When asked why Rodriguez was not listed on the Sheriff’s Department’s inmate locator — a standard practice for almost all other criminal cases within the county — officials instructed The Signal to file a Public Records Act request.
Rodriguez was previously released on his own recognizance and scheduled to return to court on July 12 for a pretrial hearing. A pretrial hearing involves the judge, prosecution and defense convening in order to present evidence, documents and/or any other relevant materials/matters before the trial begins.