Officer Won't Face Rape Trial

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Monterey County prosecutors dropped rape charges Wednesday against a Pasadena police officer accused of assaulting a 23-year-old woman in his hotel room while attending a law enforcement seminar there.

Prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Cpl. Kevin Chinnock, 32, of La Verne sexually assaulted the Monterey woman at Lighthouse Lodge in Pacific Grove last Halloween.

"There was going to be admissible evidence that would impact the case," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Hazel. "To go forward with this case wouldn't be fair to the victim or defendant."

Richard Rosen, Chinnock's attorney, said that his client was the victim of false accusation and that an extensive defense investigation had raised serious questions about the accuser's past.

"The district attorney's investigators, the Pacific Grove police and Pasadena police all turned a blind eye to the woman's background," he said. "Investigators don't like to look into the woman's past because it's not politically correct, but if they had conducted any serious investigation, it would have raised a red flag."

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said Wednesday that she was "deeply disappointed" at the prosecutors' decision.

"I've never denied the things I've done in the past," she said. "My personal past should have no bearing on it."

She told Pacific Grove police that she and a friend met Chinnock and another Pasadena officer at a local bar. The woman accompanied the officers to Chinnock's room and after the other officer left, she and Chinnock began kissing, she told police. But, she told them, he ignored her refusal to have sex and she was afraid to fight him off because he was a police officer.

The next morning, police said, she went to Carmel Community Hospital, and officials there reported the incident to police. Chinnock was arrested, released on $15,000 bail and placed on paid leave by his department.

After a lengthy investigation, a grand jury in January indicted Chinnock on charges of forcible rape, rape with a foreign object and two counts of forced oral copulation. The panel had heard testimony from the other Pasadena officer and a nurse.

Rosen, however, said that a defense investigator later interviewed co-workers of the woman and that those interviews were turned over to prosecutors.

"Once they re-interviewed our witnesses, I knew they'd dismiss the case," he said.

Chinnock, according to Pasadena police, remains on paid leave stemming from a pending workers' compensation claim.

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