SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — A former Northern California police officer has been charged with statutory rape after admitting he had sex with a 17-year-old girl he met at his police department.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Tuesday former San Leandro police officer Marco Becerra met the girl while working as an instructor at the department’s Explorer program. The program is designed to give teenagers a head start in a law enforcement career through training and community work.

Court documents show the 26-year-old Becerra resigned in October after he confessed to being in a sexual relationship with the girl. On Nov. 8, Alameda County prosecutors charged Becerra with three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He pleaded not guilty.

Becerra’s attorney, Michael rains, said the relationship was consensual.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com