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Two officers charged in Bay Area police sex crimes scandal

Oakland Police Department
Oakland police have made no arrests and released no motive for the killing of Melvin Johnson.
(Anda Chu / San Jose Mercury News)

Alameda County prosecutors on Friday charged two officers embroiled in a widening sexual misconduct scandal that involves a 19-year-old woman and multiple Bay Area law enforcement agencies. 

Former Oakland police Officer Leroy Johnson is accused of failing to report child abuse, and former Livermore police Officer Daniel Black is charged with multiple counts of lewd conduct and engaging in prostitution as well as providing a minor with alcohol, according to court filings.  

The woman at the center of the scandal, Jasmine Abuslin of Richmond, told authorities that Black picked her up in his motor home and took her to dinner on two occasions in April that both ended in sex. 

Black, 49, brought up sex during the first dinner in Berkeley, the woman told authorities. She said Black leaned in and told her “just to be clear, I’m not paying you, but I will buy you dinner,” according to a court declaration filed Friday.

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After dinner, Black and the teen returned to his motor home, where he offered her alcohol. They performed oral sex on each other, then had intercourse the following morning, she alleged.

After the second dinner, in Albany, she and Black returned to his parked motor home and performed oral sex on each other, according to the court declaration.

The court records don’t name Abuslin, but her attorney has repeatedly released her name and the teen appeared at a news conference in Florida this week after she was released from jail.

Johnson, 50, is accused of failing to fulfill his legal duty as a mandated reporter of child abuse.

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Abuslin told authorities that she had messaged Johnson on Facebook to tell him that she had sex with some Oakland police officers and that some of the encounters were prior to her 18th birthday, according to a court declaration by Jim Taranto of the Alameda County district attorney’s office. 

“Tell me you were [an] adult,” Johnson wrote back, according to the court filing.

The teen responded, “[I’d be] lying.” 

She asked Johnson not to report the incidents, and he agreed, according to the declaration. Taranto wrote that he examined screenshots of the messages. 

Last week, Dist. Atty. Nancy E. O’Malley announced her intention to charge at least seven of the police officers involved in the scandal. The charges were delayed because Abuslin was in Florida at a rehabilitation center. 

Abuslin, whose lawyers describe her as a sex trafficking victim, made national headlines in June with a televised interview during which she described multiple sexual encounters with at least a dozen police officers — some while she was underage. She also accused several officers of providing information about planned prostitution raids in exchange for sex acts. 

Abuslin’s Florida rehabilitation was arranged by a victims’ advocate in the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office, according to Contra Costa County Chief Assistant Dist. Atty. Doug McMaster. O’Malley, Abuslin’s attorneys and Oakland’s mayor have criticized the move.

At the rehabilitation center, Abuslin was charged with battery after biting a security guard. She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of simple battery and was released from jail, clearing the way for her to return to California to testify. 

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Black and Johnson are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 4. Attorneys for the men could not be reached for comment.

Several other officers are expected to face charges.

Giovani LoVerde of the Oakland Police Department and Ricardo Perez, a former Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy, will be charged with felony oral copulation with a minor, O’Malley said. 

Three other current or former Oakland police officers also will be prosecuted: Brian Bunton, on charges of felony obstruction of justice and engaging in prostitution; Warit Utappa and Tyrell Smith, who prosecutors allege searched a criminal justice computer database without authorization. 

Perez and Smith have already resigned from their positions. Black and Johnson have retired from their respective agencies. 

frank.shyong@latimes.com

Twitter: @frankshyong

james.queally@latimes.com

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Twitter: @JamesQueallyLAT

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