A California state trooper has been arrested and charged with raping a 12-year-old girl by means of force and fear and other lewd acts with a child he's accused of abusing for over a year.
California Highway Patrol officer Michael Richard Joslin, 35, was arrested August 13 after the victim's mother called the pastor of her local church stating Joslin has been molesting her daughter for a period of time.
Joslin had already left the residence and was headed towards his father's home in Placer County when Amador County deputies arrived to arrest him at his home in Pioneer.
Authorities obtained an emergency protective order to keep Joslin away from the victim and other immediate members of her family, according to the New York Post.
Joslin was subsequently arrested on various charges including continuous abuse of a child, lewd acts with a child under 14 by means of force and fear, rape by means of force and fear, penetration with a foreign object of a minor under 14 by means of force and fear, and oral copulation with a minor by means of force and fear.
The abuse occurred while the state trooper was off duty, although Joslin is no longer employed by the California Highway Patrol, according to sheriff officials.
Joslin appeared for a court appearance on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.
In addition to being barred from contacting the victim in any way, Joslin was also ordered by a judge to hand over his firearms.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Craig Harmon admitted Joslin was a CHP officer at the time he was arrested but stated he "no longer works for us."
However, Harmon did not provide further details regarding when exactly Joslin's employment was officially terminated.
"The California Highway Patrol continues to fully cooperate with the investigating agency and we are conducting our own investigation into the allegations,” Amador Area Commander, Lt. Todd Brown, said.
"I also want to assure the public that we take any allegation of misconduct by our employees, whether on- or off-duty, very seriously."
An investigation into Joslin, who is expected to return to court on Monday, is ongoing.