A veteran Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy pleaded no contest Tuesday after being charged with child molestation involving a 15-year-old girl, prosecutors said.
John Augustus Rose II, 44, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl who he met through a youth organization, according to Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the LA County District Attorney’s Office.
The relationship took place over three months in 2013, prosecutors said. Authorities learned of the allegations through the parents of a friend of the victim's, Robison said.
Rose was relieved of duty in September 2013 and was placed at home without pay the following month. He had been with the sheriff’s department for 22 years.
He pleaded no contest to one count of lewd act on a child and one count of possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct.
Defense attorney Arthur Lindars said his client denies any sexual contact took place between him and the girl. Rose agreed to plead no contest to avoid a trial, Lindars said.
"He’s devastated," Lindars said. "He’s lost his job and everything."
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Rose faces three years in state prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life, prosecutors said. He's expected to be sentenced on Nov. 26.
At a hearing last year, Rose's attorney told a judge that Rose was a "hero to the community" who had received many awards. His honors include a Medal of Valor for rescuing a woman trapped in her cabin by the 2002 Curve fire in San Gabriel Canyon, LA County Sheriff's Department records show.
City News Service contributed to this report.