A former Hermosa Beach police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of trying to meet a teenage girl for sex.
Todd Lewitt, 51, of Long Beach, was charged Wednesday with one felony count of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, according to the District Attorney's Office.
According to prosecutors, Lewitt allegedly used a dating website in late July to make contact with a person he believed to be a 16-year-old girl, but who was really an undercover sheriff's deputy. He allegedly arranged to meet the girl for a sexual encounter, but was arrested when he arrived at the meeting location in East Los Angeles, prosecutors said.
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According to jail records, Lewitt was booked the night of July 26, then released on $75,000 bail shortly after midnight July 27. He is due back in court Sept. 24.
Lewitt faces up to four years in prison.
The Daily Breeze reported last month that Lewitt was the subject of multiple internal investigations during his time as a Hermosa Beach police officer, along with an FBI probe into alleged excessive force. He was fired in 2005 for allegedly trying to bring a gun through security at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, an allegation he denied and that was later rejected by a Civil Service Commission hearing officer, according to media reports. He was returned to active duty in 2008, but left the department in 2016.