San Leandro cop resigns in statutory-rape case

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A San Leandro police officer has resigned after being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who was a police explorer with the department.

Officer Marco Becerra was off-duty when he allegedly had sex with the teenager three times in September and October.

The investigation began with a tip from the Alameda County social services agency. 

According to court documents, the 26-year-old Becerra confessed to being in a sexual relationship with the girl after she was interviewed by investigators. The officer resigned last month. 

Alameda County prosecutors have charged Becerra with three felony counts of statutory rape. He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court in January.

In a statement, Police Chief Jeff Tudor said, "I am upset and disappointed by the unethical and criminal behavior of one of our officers. These actions are absolutely inconsistent with the ethical standards of the San Leandro Police Department, and we will not tolerate this type of behavior."

Police explorers are teen interested in law enforcement who assist the department at community events.

Becerra was himself a San Leandro police explorer and has served as a mentor for current police explorers. Becerra has been an officer with the department for three years and previously worked for two years as a Contra Costa County sheriff's deputy.