Rookie LAPD officer accused of sexual assault

Times Staff Writer

A rookie Los Angeles police officer has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman at his South Los Angeles home, authorities said.

Hector Villalta, 23, was booked late Saturday by internal affairs investigators. He has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the assault case and an internal police investigation, according to LAPD spokesman Jason Lee.

The alleged assault occurred after the officer and the woman returned early Saturday from a visit to a nightclub in southwest Los Angeles, authorities said. The woman, whose name has not been released, ran to a nearby gas station and called police.


Villalta was arrested later in the day and held at Los Angeles police jail. On Sunday, he was released on $100,000 bail. He awaits arraignment on formal charges, but police said he is suspected of felony forcible penetration.

Villalta is a probationary officer, recently assigned to West Los Angeles Division. He has been with the department for eight months.