Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton apologized Friday to a boy and his family after an officer was arrested on multiple charges of sex acts with a minor and sending harmful material to a minor.
George Stan, a 15-year LAPD veteran who ran a San Fernando Valley Explorer program, was arrested after the alleged victim, an Explorer applicant, told police.
Stan, 36, pleaded not guilty Friday to 10 counts of oral copulation of a minor under 16 and one count of sending harmful material to a minor. The acts allegedly occurred during the last three years in Simi Valley. Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Tony Wold said Stan was being held in lieu of $1-million bail at a Ventura County jail. He was arrested by members of the Los Angeles Police Department's Professional Standards Bureau and an FBI task force at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday as he returned from vacation.
The arrest concluded an investigation that began in January when the alleged victim, a 15-year-old boy, applied to become an Explorer in Stan's program. The boy told LAPD officials that during the application process, Stan had sent him e-mails with inappropriate content. LAPD and federal officials subsequently concluded that Stan had committed multiple illegal sexual acts against the boy during an acquaintance that began when the boy was 12.
"I am gratified by the task force's thorough investigation and the victim's courage in coming forward," Bratton said in a statement. "I want to apologize personally and on behalf of the department to the victim and his family for the violation of trust that we allege was committed by Officer Stan."
Stan had worked in the LAPD's Devonshire Division since 1991 as an officer and training officer until he was placed in charge of the division's Explorer program a year ago. "We believe there may be other victims out there and we're appealing for anyone with information to call," said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman.
The Explorer program provides education and activities to teenagers. In 2003, LAPD Deputy Chief David Kalish retired after two former Explorer Scouts alleged that he had molested them in the late 1970s. Prosecutors did not file charges, they said, because the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the legal deadline had passed for such cases.
Lt. Paul Vernon said Stan's arrest would not alter LAPD's commitment to the Explorer program. "These kinds of incidents can happen in any organization -- in anything dedicated to children: youth sports, churches, synagogues."