Seven current and former law enforcement officers in the US state of California face charges in connection with a sex scandal rocking the Oakland Police Department.
Prosecutors said Friday that the officers face charges for crimes involving sexual misconduct with a teenage sex worker and could face as many as three years in state prison if convicted.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said officers facing felonies could face as many as three years in state prison if convicted.
“Any person who engages in this type of behavior of sexual exploitation, or anyone particularly someone in authority … will be held accountable if we have the evidence,” O’Malley told the afternoon news conference.
On Wednesday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced she has fired four police officers and suspended seven more in connection with the scandal.
One of the Oakland officers implicated in the scandal committed suicide last year, The Associated Press reported.
In June, reports emerged that as many as 21 officers from the Oakland Police Department and other area law enforcement agencies had sexually exploited the teenage prostitute.
The scandal forced the resignation of three Oakland police chiefs during the span of one week.
Along with dozens of other police departments around the nation, the Oakland police have come under scrutiny during the past year.
In May, the police chief in neighboring San Francisco also resigned over pressure from a number of high-profile killings by the hands of law enforcement officers there.
The city’s police chief Greg Suhr had faced mounting criticism and protests for months in the wake of several high-profile police killings and a racist text scandal.