The family of a young woman whose dead body was fondled by an LAPD officer has sued the cop and the city of Los Angeles, their attorney announced Tuesday.
“I just want justice for my daughter,” said shattered mom Janet Baggett at a press conference. Her 34-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Baggett, died of a drug overdose on Oct. 20, 2019.
After responding to the call, officer David Rojas, 27, was alone with her corpse and allegedly fondled her breasts and touched her nipples, which was captured on his body-mounted camera.
Janet Baggett said she felt “shock and disgust” when officials told her of the sick abuse.
“It’s a nightmare,” she said, her eyes tearing up. “I already lost my daughter.”
The grieving mom described her daughter as a loving mother to her 6-year-old son, Preston Sertich, and a talented artist.
“She was so full of life,” said Baggett. “She never met a stranger.”
Lawyer Gloria Allred filed the lawsuit on behalf of Baggett, Preston Sertich and his father Michael Sertich in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, alleging invasion of privacy, the mishandling of human remains and the infliction of emotional distress.
At the press conference, Allred read a statement from Preston Sertich. The boy said he once dreamed of working in law enforcement but had lost faith in the police.
In a further violation, Allred said that other members of the department shared the bodycam footage of the disturbing incident.
On Oct. 20 of last year, Rojas and his partner responded to a call reporting the fatal overdose of Elizabeth Baggett. After they confirmed she was dead, Rojas’ partner went to the patrol car to get paperwork. While Rojas was alone with her body, he turned off his camera and allegedly groped her.
Although he stopped the video, it continued to record for two minutes due to a buffering period.
The bizarre conduct was uncovered during a random inspection of the footage.
“It’s just horrific to think that a woman even at her death is being sexually molested,” said Allred. “It’s just the height of disrespect.”
Rojas, who was removed from duty in late 2019, has been charged with one felony count of having sexual contact with human remains and released on a $20,000 bond.
An LAPD spokesman didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
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