CRIME

HIV-Positive Man Allegedly Poses As Police Officer, Sexually Assaults Teen

05/12/2015 10:54 am ET

A California man infected with HIV allegedly convinced a teenage girl he was a police officer before kidnapping and sexually assaulting her last week.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said that Joseph Kenneth Cornett, 41, told a 15-year-old he was arresting her for jaywalking as she was walking home from school last Friday, according to KTLA.

Cornett, who is HIV-positive, took the teen into an abandoned portable classroom where he sexually assaulted her, according to authorities. The girl was able to escape and ran to a church for help. When police arrived to arrest Cornett, KTLA reports, the man tried to drive away but his car got stuck in sand.

Video of the suspect shows him strapped to a gurney with his head covered. Prosecutors said Cornett began fighting with police and attempted to spit on them during his arrest.

Cornett has been charged with a litany of felonies, including kidnapping, false imprisonment by violence and attempted forcible rape. The suspect, who pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, also had PCP on him at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The alleged assailant is being held on $1.2 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted.

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