Last November, Seattle Weekly published an in-depth cover story -- "The Boy Scouts Police Problem" -- about cops molesting dozens of teenage police cadets who had enrolled in the Explorer Program, which is run by the Boy Scouts of America's subsidary Learning for Life. In recent decades, our writer learned, more than 100 police have had sex with Explorers they were entrusted with mentoring.
A now another harrowing story. A Santa Maria, Calif., officer was shot and killed Saturday by his best friend on the force and best man at this wedding just a few weeks earlier.
The Associated Press reports that Officer Alberto Covarrubias Jr. was gunned down as detectives moved in to arrest him on charges of having sex with a 17-year-old girl.
The girl was a member of the Explorers, a program created in 1991 which provides more than 110,000 young people each year the chance to see firsthand workplaces in fields ranging from law enforcement to architecture to the law. The organization's mission is to "enable young people to become responsible individuals by teaching positive character traits, career development, leadership, and life skills so they can make moral choices and achieve their full potential."
Covarrubias was killed at the end of his shift working a DUI checkpoint. According to AP:
It's unclear for how long Covarrubias and the girl carried on a sexual relationship, but she confided to an adult described as a "mother figure" on Thursday -- Covarrubias' birthday -- that the two "were dating." The woman called police, the retired officers said.
Police decided to set up a sting to arrest Covarrubias on sexual misconduct charges. In California, the age of consent is 18 unless the two people are within three years of each other in age.
Before the DUI checkpoint started, the lieutenant in charge was told that the Explorer Scout was going to be called away to do a "pretext call," the name for setup calls designed to get suspects to confess with investigators listening in, both retired officers said.
When two Santa Maria cops arrived to take Covarrubias into custody he tried to pull out his guns as the sergeants wrestled him to the ground. Covarrubias then pointed his gun at his best man, Officer Matt Kine and Kline fired his weapon, fatally wounding his friend.