A former probationary Upland police officer pleaded not guilty Monday to assault and sexual battery of a woman he previously dated.
Joshua Duarte of Rowland Heights, 31, is facing one felony count each of sexual battery by restraint, dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime and assault with intent to commit a sex crime. Bail was set at $200,000, and Duarte -- who had posted bond the day after his Jan. 11 arrest -- was remanded into custody.
He was ordered to return to court on March 5, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Local news from across Southern California
If convicted as charged, Duarte faces up to eight years in prison and lifetime registration as a sexual offender, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors said the former officer asked the 29-year-old woman -- who had recently ended their romantic relationship -- to meet with him in his vehicle on Dec. 30. During that encounter, he allegedly sexually assaulted her.
Duarte was off duty at the time, according to the Upland Police Department.
He was arrested by Pomona police shortly after he was "released from employment'' by the Upland Police Department, where he had worked since Aug. 19, authorities said at the time.
Shortly after Duarte's arrest, Upland police Chief Darren Goodman issued a statement saying he was "disturbed by the allegations.''
The alleged conduct is inconsistent with the expectations of an Upland police officer and does not reflect on the majority of our officers who work hard every day to maintain the trust and support of our community,'' he said.