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Ex-Cop Immunity Deal Reportedly Off

January 27, 2001

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The former police officer whose accusations sparked a corruption scandal could be charged with crimes for his alleged involvement in police misconduct, despite being granted immunity, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rafael Perez agreed in 1999 to cooperate with investigators in return for a lighter sentence for stealing cocaine from a police evidence room.

The newspaper, quoting prosecutors, reported Saturday that despite the immunity deal, Perez still could be charged in federal court for his admitted participation in unjustified shootings, robberies and the framing of innocent people.

It cited unidentified sources familiar with the probe as saying Perez had stopped cooperating with police and prosecutors.

Winston Kevin McKesson, who represents Perez, has contended that the immunity deal protects his client from federal prosecution. He declined to answer questions about Perez’s dealings with authorities, but said: ``Mr. Perez has and will continue to live up to all of his obligations.″

U.S. Attorney Alejandro N. Mayorkas declined to comment on the investigation.

If prosecuted, Perez _ who is scheduled to be released from jail in several months _ faces the possibility of many more years behind bars.

Legal scholars say that while it is possible to bring federal charges against the ex-officer, a more difficult task would be determining whether his statements can be used as evidence against him.

So far, more than 100 convictions have been thrown out and 20 officers have left active duty as a result of the LAPD scandal. City officials say they expect more than 250 lawsuits to be filed by people wrongly accused of crimes.

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