California

Former LAPD officer pleads no contest in child porn case

A former Los Angeles police officer pleaded no contest Monday to a charge of possessing child pornography, officials said.

Clark Warren Baker, 61, was arrested last month after a previous search of his Hollywood Hills home turned up an external hard drive that contained child pornography, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

He faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced in June, prosecutors said.

Baker was arrested April 10, six months after members of the LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit removed computer equipment from his home, investigators said. Attempts to contact Baker or his attorney have been unsuccessful.

Baker was employed by the Los Angeles Police Department for two decades, from 1980 to 2000, according to a department spokeswoman. The LAPD has declined to comment further on Baker’s case.

During his time with the department, Baker was assigned to the Valley Traffic Division and was involved in an incident that led to him being convicted of battery in 1992. He had been accused of slapping, kicking and dragging a 21-year-old Salvadoran immigrant who had been suspected of jaywalking.

An internal LAPD panel had previously cleared him of wrongdoing.

Baker’s 1992 conviction was later overturned by an appeals panel, which ruled a prosecutor improperly made reference to the Rodney King trial and turned Baker’s case into a referendum on police reform at the time.

james.queally@latimes.com

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.