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Ex-LAPD Sergeant Pleads Not Guilty

November 14, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A retired police sergeant and former TV reporter pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges stemming from suspected encounters with two 12-year-old boys aboard a cruise ship.

Roderick ``Rod″ Bernsen, 58, was indicted last week on two counts of abusive sexual contact with a minor after a grand jury heard evidence of the allegations. He was free on $850,000 bond.

Bernsen, who now lives in Colorado, was arrested Oct. 7 by FBI agents investigating a complaint by the mother of one of the boys. The suspected abuse occurred while Bernsen and the two boys were aboard the Diamond Princess on a trip to Mexico.

The indictment accused Bernsen of using his foot to touch a boy’s genitals in the ship’s steam room. It also accused him of following another boy to a shower stall and touching his buttocks.

Bernsen was KTTV-TV’s law enforcement specialist until he left the station in 2004. His broadcasting career followed service in the Los Angeles Police Department as a sergeant and spokesman.

If convicted of both charges, he faces up to four years in prison.

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