A deputy city attorney for Los Angeles was charged Tuesday with attempting to lure an underage boy over the Internet to meet him for sex.
Richard Bruce Coplen, 49, who has been with the city attorney's office for more than two decades, was arrested Sunday in Duarte during a sting by the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Such alleged actions are intolerable, especially if they involve a minor," City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said in a statement. "[The] LAPD and the district attorney have my full support and cooperation in investigating this matter."
Coplen was arrested "at the location where he believed he was going to meet the boy," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Christina Fleming. Coplen was charged with attempted oral copulation of a minor and attempted sexual penetration of a minor.
Police said Coplen had sex with the teenager in December after he sent him an "instant message" over the Web offering to pay him $150,000 for sex. That alleged encounter took place at Coplen's Highland Park home after he picked up the boy at a park, police said. "We understand there was some money, but it wasn't $150,000," said Lt. Daniel Mulrenin.
After the teenager went to the LAPD in January, investigators assumed his online identity and arranged a second meeting.
After the arrest, police served a search warrant at Coplen's home and seized two computers.
Coplen is scheduled to be arraigned next Tuesday. He has been placed on paid leave pending an administrative hearing.
Coplen joined the office in 1978 and once headed the anti-gang unit. He now works in the office's real property and environment division.
Police asked other potential victims to call Det. Dale Barraclough at (213) 485-2883 during work hours or (213) 485-2504 in the evenings and on weekends.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.