AP NEWS

Bexar County deputy charged with sexual assault

April 18, 2018 GMT

A 15-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office was arrested in connection with a 2016 sexual assault case, officials said Tuesday.

Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy Leonard Lopez, 47, turned himself after being charged with sexual assault of a woman, Sheriff Javier Salazar said during a news conference. He relinquished his gun and badge at the Sheriff’s Office.

Salazar said Lopez and the woman, in her mid 20s, knew each other and the alleged assault occurred in September 2016 while Lopez was off duty. Last May, the woman approached the San Antonio Police Department with allegations about Lopez.

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“This conduct is not indicative in any way of the conduct we expect of a Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy,” Salazar said. “You can rest assured we are going to do everything in our power to handle this case as efficiently as we can.”

Lopez was a sheriff’s office spokesman from March 2017 through May, when he was transferred to the sheriff’s training academy for reasons unrelated to the allegations, Salazar said. The sheriff’s office was made aware of the allegations on May 20 and placed Lopez on administrative duty.

“He has had no public contact since the day that we found out about it,” Salazar said.

BCSO’s internal affairs unit has started an administrative case against Lopez, and the public integrity unit has been assisting SAPD with its investigation, Salazar said.

On Tuesday, Lopez was placed on administrative leave and will receive pay for the next 10 days.

“After that point, the pay runs out and (Lopez) is not allowed to return,” Salazar said.

jbeltran@express-news.net | Twitter: @JBfromSA