LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles police officer was convicted Monday of filing a false report and perjury stemming from a traffic stop in the Hollywood area about 3 1/2 years ago.
Jurors deliberated for two hours before finding Alejandro Castillo, 50, guilty of the two felony counts, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Castillo is facing a maximum of four years and eight months in state prison, with sentencing set May 12, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The Los Angeles Police Department's Internal Affairs Division began investigating Castillo after unspecified concerns were identified by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office while reviewing body-worn videos for DUI arrests the officer made in October 2019, police said in a statement released after Castillo's arrest in 2021.
"Investigators working in partnership with the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office established probable cause to believe that the officer's BWV footage was inconsistent with the written report," according to the LAPD.
Castillo filed a police report that claimed the driver had made an unsafe left turn in front of oncoming traffic that nearly caused an accident, while body-worn camera video showed the motorist waited for all vehicles to pass before making the turn on Oct. 18, 2019, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The motorist was given a sobriety test and subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the District Attorney's Office.
DUI charges were not filed against the driver as a result of the investigation.
"The allegations of an officer falsifying a police report are extremely troubling and there must be accountability," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement shortly after the officer's arrest.
The case against Castillo was filed in July 2021.
In a statement released after the verdict, District Attorney George Gascón said, "When an officer lies in the course of their investigation, it can have devastating consequences, including wrongful incarceration and sometimes wrongful convictions. This is why my office takes perjury by law enforcement very seriously. We cannot have the people we entrusted to take away a person's liberty lying in their official capacity."
The district attorney said he was "pleased that the jury saw the injustice in this case and the officer will be held accountable for his actions."
Castillo's attorney could not be reached for immediate comment on the verdict.
The LAPD said in a statement that it was aware of Castillo's conviction.
"Castillo is a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, was assigned to West Traffic Division and has been assigned home pending the administrative investigation. The department is fully cooperating with the District Attorney's Office on this matter," according to the department's statement.
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