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Defendant in Teen Sex Case May Be in U.K.

A former Anaheim police officer accused of having an affair with an Explorer moved to England with his wife and kids, authorities say.

May 30, 2003|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

A former Anaheim police officer fled to England with his wife and two young children rather than face felony charges that he'd had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old police Explorer, officials said Thursday.

Jason David Rosewarne, who is a citizen of England and the United States, recently sold his Corona home and property in Big Bear City.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Hess said additional charges will be filed against Rosewarne, 31, including felony willful failure to appear and contempt of court.

"Apparently he's been planning to leave for several months," he said.

Rosewarne told neighbors, his real estate agent, friends, family and a judge that he was selling his Corona home and moving to Big Bear City, where he had inherited a home, Hess said. Investigators later determined that the Big Bear City property had already been sold and that Rosewarne, his wife, Lesa, and their 6- and 5-year-old children had gone to England.

The former Anaheim officer, who has been free on $10,000 bail, failed to show up for a pretrial hearing May 23, where he was to be offered nine months in Orange County Jail and five years of formal probation in exchange for a guilty plea. He was charged in October with one felony count of having sex with a minor and faced up to three years in state prison.

Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Richard Pacheco issued a bench warrant for his arrest Tuesday, and Hess said he is researching U.S. extradition agreements with England.

Rosewarne was a seven-year veteran with the Anaheim Police Department who supervised the Explorer program and allegedly developed a relationship with the 17-year-old during an Explorer social outing last summer. Anaheim police began investigating when they received "extremely high" bills for Rosewarne's cell phone and turned up text messages the two had exchanged that revealed their relationship.

Rosewarne resigned shortly after he was charged.

The Anaheim Explorer program has about 50 recruits, ages 14 to 21, who learn about law enforcement by assisting at crime scenes, fingerprinting children, directing traffic and searching for missing people. Rosewarne attended the same program as a teen before entering the police academy.

Knowing that he'd spent his childhood in England, investigators said they began checking on Rosewarne's whereabouts there once it became clear he'd left Southern California.

Rosewarne's attorney, William Hadden of Santa Monica, said he was unaware of his client's whereabouts and declined to comment further.

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