LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Prosecutors declined to file charges against two Los Angeles police officers accused of leaking photos of a battered Rihanna to the press, according to a document released Thursday.
In a five-page charge evaluation worksheet completed March 28, Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz cited “insufficient evidence” that the two officers leaked the image to TMZ or obtained money in exchange for the disclosure.
The prosecutor noted in the document that Officer Rebecca Mendez Reyes used her cell phone to take a picture of the photo and forwarded the digital image to her department email address and then later to her personal email address.
Another officer — Blanca Estrella Lopez — who was Reyes’ roommate at the time — called Fox Television three times and TMZ four times on Feb. 8, 2009, the day of the attack on Rihanna, according to the charge evaluation worksheet.
“However, no additional evidence suggests that Reyes or Lopez provided this photograph to TMZ,” the prosecutor wrote. “The investigation reveals that several other LAPD personnel also possessed this photograph. Moreover, a search of Reyes’ and Lopez’s bank accounts failed to locate any payment by any media outlet. As such, although both Reyes and Lopez’s actions are suspicious, they are insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.”
Singer Chris Brown, then Rihanna’s boyfriend, pleaded guilty in June 2009 to assaulting her after a pre-Grammy Awards ceremony in February 2009. He was sentenced to five years probation, 180 days of community service and a one-year domestic violence counseling program.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the LAPD has moved to fire both officers, with disciplinary hearings scheduled for both in August.
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