OAKLAND (KRON) — An Oakland police officer was in court on Friday to face prostitution and obstruction charges.
Ryan Walterhouse, 26, was charged on Thursday, and he is being represented by attorney Michael Cardoza.
Walterhouse is a two-year veteran of the police force. He faces charges of paying a prostitute for sex and then tipping her off about upcoming police sting operations. He tpleaded not guilty.
Walterhouse is charged with two felony counts of obstruction justice and one misdemeanor count of prostitution.
Walterhouse also indicated he is looking forward to telling his story. He was arrested after reporting to work at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Walterhouse posted $20,000 bail and has been released from custody. He is expected to return to court on Dec. 7.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “I remain committed to ensuring that this police department is continually improving its policies and practices.” Mayor Schaaf said, “it is incredibly disturbing that in light of what happened this summer any officer could think it was at all acceptable to engage in this type of behavior.”
The police department says the crime is not connected to the sexual misconduct case involving Oakland police officers and Jasmine Abuslin, previously known as Celeste Guap.
Officials say once the investigation is completed, the case will be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Cardoza, a veteran lawyer and former prosecutor who represents both LoVerde and Walterhouse, alleged that both officers are “accused wrongly” and accused the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office of bringing charges against police officers for “political” reasons.
District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick declined to comment on Cardoza’s allegation, saying, “We aren’t commenting further at this time on the ongoing criminal prosecution.”
Cardoza said LoVerde never met the alleged victim and never had sex with her, although he said LoVerde communicated with her through social media.
Cardoza said Walterhouse didn’t do anything wrong and was simply “doing his job” in his interactions with the prostitute he allegedly was involved with but declined to elaborate, saying, “I will explain that at a trial.”
Referring to the charges against Walterhouse, Cardoza said, “This is a very political case in this county. Police officers are targets these days.”