Crime

CHP officer arrested for alleged sexual misconduct involving minors

Allegations date back to July 2010

A California Highway Patrol officer has been arrested for allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors.

Robert Stephano, 44, was arrested in Twentynine Palms on Friday by the Sheriff’s Department Specialized Enforcement Detail. According to the Sheriff’s Department, he is facing charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child between 14 and 15 years old, communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex crime, and arranging to meet with a minor to commit a sex crime.

A news release by the Sheriff's Department notes that investigators were contacted by the Morongo Basin Station in May 2018 regarding allegations of child molestation and sexual misconduct against Stephano. 

Detectives with the Specialized Investigations Division assumed the investigation as Stephano is a CHP officer. He has been employed with CHP for 12 years and assigned to the Morongo Basin Station.

According to Sheriff's, Stephano was accused of soliciting underage victims for various sexual acts dating back to July 2010. Stephano volunteered as an assistant softball coach for a Morongo Basin recreational league and assisted youth groups for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Stephano will be booked into custody at the Central Detention Center. His bail is set at $250,000.

Investigators ask that anyone with any information regarding the case, or who has been solicited by Stephano, to contact the Specialized Investigations Division, Detective James Tebbetts at (909)387-3589. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call 1-800-WeTip. You can also submit a tip online by clicking here.

Stay with News Channel 3 for updates.

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Noticias en español: Telemundo 15

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