Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Arrested by LAPD During Internet Predator Sting

March 5, 2002

"Deputy Los Angeles City Attorney Arrested By LAPD During Internet Predator Sting"

Press Conference
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
4:15 p.m.
Parker Center, 150 N. Los Angeles Street, Room 618, 6th Floor
Personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office

Los Angeles: On Sunday, March 3, 2002, Richard Bruce Coplen, a 49 year-old resident of Los Angeles, was arrested and booked for Attempted Oral Copulation With a Minor, by Los Angeles Police Department detectives. Richard Bruce Coplen is a Deputy City Attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
On January 17, 2002, the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Sexually Exploited Child Unit received information that a male adult, after communicating with a 17-year-old male on the Internet, personally met and sexually assaulted the juvenile victim.
According to the victim, in December 2001, he received an Instant Message from Coplen, who stated that he would pay the victim $150,000 if the victim would meet him for sex. Arrangements were made that same night for Coplen to drive from his home, in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, to a neighboring City within the County of Los Angeles. When the time was agreed upon, Coplen met the victim at a park near the victim’s residence and took the victim to his (Coplen’s) residence. Once in the residence, Coplen engaged the victim in a sex act. Later that same night, Coplen returned the victim to the original pick-up location.
As a result of the information received, investigators from the LAPD’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit assumed the online identity of the victim and continued to communicate with Coplen. Coplen communicated that he wanted to recreate the previous sexual act. Another meeting was arranged, based on the victim’s availability. On March 3, 2002 Coplen showed up at the agreed upon location to meet the victim for a second time. At this time, LAPD undercover officers arrested Coplen.
Following Coplen’s arrest, a search warrant was served at his Highland Park residence. Among the evidence seized were two computers that will be examined for additional evidence.
On March 5, 2002, the District Attorney’s Office for the County of Los Angeles filed one count of Attempted Oral Copulation of a Minor Under Age 18 (Penal Code Sections 664-288a(b)(1)) and one count of Attempted Sexual Penetration of a Minor Under Age 18 (Penal Code Sections 664-289(h)). Bail is set at $20,000.00.
Juvenile Division detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in locating other young males who have been in contact with Arrestee Coplen. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Detective Dale Barraclough at 213-485-2883, during the week days, and 213-485-2504 during evening hours and on weekends.
This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.