Sexual Assault

Sex, joy rides and car chases: Scandal in LAPD youth cadet program sparks alarm and calls for reform

Sex, joy rides and car chases: Scandal in LAPD youth cadet program sparks alarm and calls for reform

The police officer talked strategy with the young cadets as they prepared for an obstacle course competition.

Should the strongest person go first? The tallest? Teamwork was important, said the officer, Ruby Aguirre.

As the teenagers — addressing everyone with a “Sir” or “Ma’am” — powered across monkey bars or scrambled to catch footballs in Elysian Park earlier this month, the scene seemed straight out of a recruiting brochure for the Los Angeles Police Department’s cadet program, which enrolls over 2,000 local youths.

But a recent scandal involving cadets, stolen police cars and illicit sex was not far from their minds.

The disturbing events have illuminated...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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