LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles Police detective who once investigated sexual assault cases committed suicide after two men said he molested them as teens.
The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (https://tinyurl.com/mx2to6j ) that the body of 52-year-old Dennis Derr was found Thanksgiving morning in his car in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Palmdale. Derr died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said.
The detective’s son said that two men recently confided in each other that Derr molested them. The men then told Derr’s wife. Derr’s wife wrote a note to her husband while he slept on Nov. 26 telling him about the abuse claims and left the couple’s Acton house, according to the son.
The next day, Derr wrote an email to family members and vaguely denied any “sexual failures” and alluded to suicide, said his son Philip Derr, who received the email.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Hudson of the department’s special victims bureau confirmed that two adult males made sexual abuse allegations against the LAPD detective shortly before he committed suicide.
One of the alleged victims said he had been repeatedly abused, according to the son. The other alleged victim recalled a single incident.
Dennis Derr was a 17-year veteran of the LAPD and was a detective since 2006. He worked for a few years investigating sexual assault cases.
“He would talk about how much he hated the people who did this sort of thing,” Philip Derr said.
Dennis Derr was investigating theft cases when he died and was not assigned to the sexual assault unit, the LAPD said.
Derr also served as a pastor or Bible study teacher at two churches, his son said.
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