San Joaquin County prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that a former U.S. military police officer tried to prostitute the teen who's at the center of the Bay Area law enforcement sexual exploitation scandal.
The officer, William K. Johnson, has been fired from his job at a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) distribution facility in the county months after he was reassigned when the division of the Department of Defense began its own probe.
Reports surfaced in May that a teenager who called herself Celeste Guap was sexually exploited by dozens of law enforcement officers in the region.
During the ensuing media storm, Johnson allegedly texted the young woman to solicit sex.
The teen, whose real name is Jasmine Abuslin, told authorities that Johnson repeatedly offered to be her pimp.
“Any reasonable person would think this is the most outrageous conduct and there has to be a price to pay for that,” said Abuslin's attorney, John Burris. “He was more than willing to flout the law and to exploit this young woman for his own personal gain."
The military completed its investigation into Johnson and he was fired on Dec. 5, according to the DLA's public affairs office.
Burris welcomed the news.
“That’s not a person who should be a law enforcement officer, and quite frankly the district attorney’s office is looking at whether he should be prosecuted,” he said.
Claims that Johnson offered to pimp Abuslin are under investigation by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, according to that agency's spokesman, Tim Daly.
The district attorney has yet to file charges. Daly said he was unable to answer other questions about the case.
Burris says he may sue Johnson and the Department of Defense for civil damages.
The teenager's legal team has already filed claims for more than $150 million in damages, from municipalities including Oakland, Richmond and San Francisco.
Police departments in Oakland and Richmond have disciplined, demoted and fired dozens of officers.
The Alameda County district attorney has filed criminal charges against six officers, ranging from a misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse to felony oral copulation with a minor.
Contra Costa County’s DA charged a retired Oakland police captain with a misdemeanor for paying for sex with Abuslin.
The criminal cases are moving slowly through the courts.