Long Beach : No-Contest Plea by Officer

In a plea bargain that will keep him out of prison, suspended police Lt. Robert Padilla, 46, has pleaded no contest to one felony count of having sex with a 16-year-old Explorer Scout.

Padilla was originally charged with four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a minor on two occasions in late February. He faced a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count.

The 22-year Long Beach Police Department veteran still faces a maximum one-year jail term and three years' probation, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lawrence E. Mason said. Sentencing is set for July 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Padilla, suspended without pay March 10, also probably will be fired, said Police Department spokesmen.

The father of the female Explorer Scout has filed a $250,000 negligence claim against the city, and the Police Department has tightened fraternization guidelines and banned patrol ride-alongs of female Explorers unless a woman officer is present.

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