Two Oakland cops plead not guilty to sex acts with prostitutes

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OAKLAND (KTVU) -- Two Oakland police officers charged with felonies in separate sexual misconduct cases pleaded not guilty today in back-to-back appearances in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward.

Ryan Walterhouse, 26, and Giovanni LoVerde, 33, both joined the department in 2014. Now, both are criminal defendants, charged with felonies.

Before a phalanx of cameras, both entered not-guilty pleas at the Hayward Hall of Justice. Walterhouse, who is engaged,  is accused of tipping off a sex worker to undercover police stings and paying her for sex.

He spoke exclusively to our camera, saying he had been advised by his attorney not to discuss the case.

LoVerde, a married father, also did not want to discuss his case.. He's charged with engaging in a sex act with Jasmine Abuslin, once known as Celeste Guap, when she was only 17. Abuslin says she's had sex with dozens of Bay Area officers

The judge ordered LoVerde to post $20,000 bail. Walterhouse has previously posted that same amount for bail.

Michael Cardoza, the attorney for both officers, said of LoVerde and Abuslin, "I will tell you here and now, he never met her. He did not do what he's accused of."

He said the case has been politicized by prosecutors. He says his clients have done nothing wrong.

"Of course they want to be Oakland police officers. It's their job. they want to serve the community. They were protecting the community. They have been accused wrongly in this case."

District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick declined to comment on Cardoza's allegation, saying, "We aren't commenting further at this time on the ongoing criminal prosecution."

John Burris is the new attorney representing Abuslin.

"You have young officers who appear to have come into the department very recently. You have to wonder about the recruiting aspect, the evaluation of the officers, the character of these officers and how they could have been missed."

BCN contributed to this report.