Former Denham Springs officer pleads guilty in juvenile sex crimes case, avoids prison
DENHAM SPRINGS - A police officer who left the state after he was accused of sex crimes involving a juvenile was convicted this week.
Joseph "Reid" Copeland, 30, pleaded guilty to charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and malfeasance in office, according to District Attorney Scott Perrilloux.
Judge Brenda Ricks sentenced Copeland to five and 10 years in prison for each charge, but those sentences were suspended, meaning he won't go to prison. He was also given three years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.
The allegations first made it to law enforcement after the victim reportedly confided in someone about what happened. The victim later told investigators they had sex in the back of Copeland's marked police unit in a parking lot, and the two messaged each other over social media afterward.
The juvenile also allegedly sent a picture of their license to Copeland seeking help with a ticket.
Prosecutors said Copeland was tracked to Texas back in September. He reportedly had a fake U.S. Marshal badge, a Glock 22, 16 bullets, a waistband holster and a knife on him.
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