CHP officer arrested in 29 Palms for alleged conduct involving underage girls

(San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept.)

A 44-year-old California Highway Patrol officer was arrested Friday in Twentynine Palms and is facing charges for his alleged conduct with at least two teenage girls, according to officials.

Robert Stephano, of Joshua Tree, was taken into custody on Friday. The arrest followed a seven-month investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and child molestation, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Stephano is a 12 year veteran of the Highway Patrol, assigned to the Morongo Basin Station. He’s accused of soliciting minors for various sexual acts. Two female victims were age 14 and 17, say officials.

He has been charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child between 14 and 15 years old, communicating with a minor with the intent to commit a sex crime and arranging to meet with a minor to commit a sex crime.

Sheriff’s Officials say that Stephano volunteered as an assistant softball coach for a Morongo Basin recreational league and assisted youth groups for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Detectives believe he could have additional victims.

Anyone with info should call Detective James Tebbetts at 909-387-3589, or submit a tip anonymously via 800-782-7463 or www.wetip.com.


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