Los Angeles Police Officer Miguel Schiappapietra, 28, looked despondent in an inmate enclosure in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday. Detectives say two girls, both under the ages of 10, told them Schiappapietra lured them into his Castaic home Saturday morning and molested them.
In court, the six-year veteran of the force entered a plea of not guilty to two counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14. His bail was set at $200,000.
"We asked the judge to reduce the bail, and because of the charges the judge has to presume they are true. Our office does not believe the allegations in this case, and we will make a new motion for reduced bail so we can get our client home where he belongs," said David Diamond, defense attorney.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Special Victims Unit is investigating the case.
"I had pride when I put on the badge, and I assume this individual did too, but he let his demons get the best of him. I feel sorry for his wife just being shrouded in secrecy of this alleged behavior," said a neighbor who also worked as an LAPD officer.
Some residents say the officer and his family moved into the community a few months ago. They say several law enforcement families live in the neighborhood.
"He's got kids of his own, and he is a police officer. You should feel protected in a neighborhood with a police officer, but he's not protected anyone," said Jennifer Frank of Castaic.