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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'Sergeant Love' hit with harassment rap

The New York Daily News by JOHN MARZULLI - May 20, 2008
Calling Sergeant Love.

He calls himself "Larry Love" because he thinks he's God's gift to the women of the 42nd Precinct, but Sgt. Larry Lopez is about to learn that love hurts - especially if it's unwanted. Lopez is facing disciplinary action for sexually harassing Officer Kervelin Compres, a married mother of two, then retaliating against her after she rebuffed his aggressive advances. Compres says the harassment began in 2006 after Lopez, 44, selected her to be his driver in the schools unit at the South Bronx precinct. "He thinks he's a lover boy that can get any girl," Compres, 29, told the Daily News. "He said [to me], 'I know you want some of 'Larry Love.'" She said Lopez repeatedly invited her to his apartment for sex while mentioning that he had the power to approve or veto her requests for time off. He allegedly pinched her arm and buttocks so hard, he left black-and-blue bruises, which she said she photographed and turned over to investigators. Compres said the most sickening allegation is the time he took a sip from a water fountain in the precinct, then spit in her face, likening it to a sex act he wanted to perform. "I felt humiliated," Compres said. "I was ashamed. It was a lot of emotions." Compres' husband is also a cop so she was concerned about his career being affected by fallout from the randy sergeant.

"It wasn't my intention to take it further, but then I just couldn't take it anymore," she said. "He was always on my case. I wanted to quit the job. I was very depressed. My kids saw me crying a lot." An investigation by the NYPD's Office of Equal Employment Opportunity substantiated the allegations, but Lopez remains on full duty. "I have no comment at this time," Lopez said. Compres, a six-year veteran, has hired a lawyer to protect her rights as the probe proceeds to the next level. "Is Lopez [someone] the Police Department wants out there patrolling?" said Eric Sanders of the law firm of Jeffrey Goldberg in Lake Success. "If she was a civilian and reported being touched in a sexually offensive manner, he would have been arrested." A police source said NYPD prosecutors are drafting formal charges against Lopez. The former commanding officer of the 42nd Precinct was forced to retire last year after he was accused by another woman cop of pulling down his pants and fondling himself in his office.

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