Charges dropped for East Bay officers accused of having sex with minor

The criminal cases against three police officers who had been accused of sexual misconduct with a former sex worker have all collapsed.

Two cases in the high-profile sex exploitation scandal involving the daughter of an Oakland police officer dispatcher were dismissed just this week.

Oakland police officer Giovanni Loverde, a married father, is no longer facing a felony charge of having sex with a minor.

On Thursday, Alameda County prosecutors dismissed the case. 

"I had the utmost confidence that this would be the result," LoVerde told radio station KQED. "Unfortunately, it took a year and a half to get here. I am happy. I look forward to getting back and serving the people of Oakland."

The day before, Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson dropped the case involving former Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricardo Perez.

Both Loverde and Perez had been accused of having sex with Jasmine Abuslin while she was underage.

Perez denies knowing she was a minor. 

Last month, Judge Rolefson said there was insufficient evidence to prosecute former Oakland Officer Brian Bunton for allegedly engaging in a sex act with Abuslin.

The teen claimed she had sexual relations with nearly two dozen law enforcement officers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area while she was working as a prostitute. She said some of the encounters occurred when she was 17 but testified that she lied about her age.

The claims became public when an Oakland police officer committed suicide in 2015 and left a note implicating several colleagues. Oakland police Chief Sean Whent was forced to resign in June 2016 after a federal judge who oversees the department said the internal affairs investigation was botched.

A dozen officers from five law enforcement agencies were fired or resigned over their involvement in the case.

Abuslin said she no longer works as a prostitute. 

KTVU Legal Analyst Michael Cardoza, who is Loverde’s attorney, says his client never met Abuslin.

“Why did they not know there was insufficient evidence when they filed this case?” Cardoza asked. “They had done all their investigation, but yet they made political hay out of this, went on television and said they were going after OPD cops and now look what’s happened.” 

In a statement, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said there’s different interpretations of the law involving the crimes she charged and that she will not appeal.

O’Malley added, “We are always mindful of how difficult it has been for the victim in these matters to testify in open court about her exploitation and we made today’s decision in close consultation with her.

Abuslin’s attorney John Burris said she testified reluctantly against Perez and Bunton. He said he’s not disappointed the cases have been dropped.   

“I think in the grand scheme of things, it’s enough that the officers’ conduct was exposed and that many of them have either lost their jobs or had their reputations severely tarnished,” Burris said. 

Oakland paid the Abuslin nearly $1 million to settle her abuse claims.