One of two former Huntington Park police officers convicted of torturing a handcuffed teen-age burglary suspect with an electric stun gun had his jail sentence reduced Thursday and is expected to be released this weekend.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Berg cut the sentence for Robert Rodriguez from 180 days to 100 days after his attorney said the ex-officer had been offered a job in an oil refinery with a May 4 starting date.
Rodriguez and William J. Lustig, who were fired from the Police Department after their arrest, were convicted last December of felony assault under color of authority and misdemeanor inhumane treatment of a prisoner.
Lustig, 33, was sentenced to two years in prison. Unlike jail terms, prison sentences are not subject to modification by a judge.
Jurors concluded that Rodriguez, 27, was an aider and abettor who did not actually touch the 50,000-volt stun gun to victim Jaime Ramirez's leg in the November, 1986, incident.
Deputy Dist. Atty. James E. Koller opposed the sentence modification. "I didn't see any reason for him to get favorable treatment," he said after Thursday's hearing. "The original sentence was fair."
But Rodriguez's attorney, William J. Hadden, defended Berg's action, saying: "The picture that was painted at trial was of Lustig . . . having been the total driving force behind this. . . . The judge recognized that the worst Rodriguez did was get caught up in something somebody else initiated and carried out."
Hadden noted that Rodriguez had not sought to be free on bail while his appeal is pending. "He informed me he wanted to serve his time," the lawyer said. "He also wanted to look forward in life and have this behind him.
"I think the judge was impressed with that."
Rodriguez has been in custody at a sheriff's substation for 64 days and has earned 32 days of work credit. With future work credits, he faced a maximum of 120 days in jail.
In addition to curtailing Rodriguez's jail sentence, Berg reduced probation from three years to one year.