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California cop is accused of faking teen's arrest

By the CNN Wire staff
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Did cop cross line defending daughter?
  • The teen is suspected of having sex with the officer's 14-year-old daughter
  • The parents of the boy are angry and say the officer abused his authority
  • The policeman is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation

(CNN) -- A California police officer is on paid administrative leave after being accused of faking the arrest of a young man he believed had sex with his 14-year-old daughter.

Parents of the boy, who is thought to be 15 years old, made a videotape that showed some of the fake arrest, which they gave to the San Jose Mercury News newspaper in San Jose, California.

In it, the officer -- armed and in uniform -- is seen lecturing the boy inside his home for several minutes. The boy is handcuffed throughout much of the tape.

"Growing up, being in high school, a cop's daughter is not someone you mess around with. You're stupid," the officer is heard telling the boy. "The district attorney will probably file charges."

Both of their faces were blurred out in the tape.

Paul and Nicole Villarruel, the boy's parents, spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday, accusing the officer of overstepping his rights and abusing authority.

"He's an officer. He's an authority figure. ... We thought our son was getting arrested and there was nothing we can do," Nicole Villarruel told GMA.

But the officer's lawyer disagrees. She says the boy's parents knew her client and that his mother had previously reached out to the officer for help with her "troubled" son.

"On this occasion, the officer was not there as part of an official investigation, but as a concerned parent, attempting to navigate the difficult challenges associated with raising a teenager," Terry Bowman, the officer's lawyer, said in a statement.

"The officer was essentially invited to use 'scare straight' tactics and there were no objections to the lecture or the handcuffing. Everything was done in the spirit of reaching a troubled young man who is heading down the wrong path. Prior to leaving, the parents thanked the officer and shook his hand," she said.

The officer is currently on paid administration leave pending an investigation, said Sgt. Ronnie Lopez with the San Jose Police Department.

The district attorney is also reviewing the matter.

"After a complete review of the facts and evidence, we will make a decision whether to file criminal charges against the officer involved in this case," said Amy Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.