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Officer caught in local prostitution sting suspended indefinitely

Willy Rafael Lopez. (Jail photo)
Willy Rafael Lopez. (Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 5:16 PM CDT
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Waco police Officer Willy Rafael Lopez, 35, who was charged with misdemeanor prostitution in January and was arrested again in February on a warrant charging invasive visual recording has been suspended indefinitely by Police Chief Ryan Holt, police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said in a brief press release Monday.

“After a thorough internal investigation by the Professional Standards and Conduct Unit of the Waco Police Department, it has been determined that Lopez violated departmental policy,” Swanton said in a brief press release late Monday afternoon.

The suspension, which is the equivalent of dismissal, may be appealed to Waco’s Civil Service Commission or a third-party hearing examiner.

McLennan County deputies first arrested Lopez on Jan. 15 in the parking lot of a restaurant near the Baylor University campus.

He was off-duty at the time.

The day after the arrest, authorities got a warrant for Lopez's cellphone in which, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released on Feb. 8, they found two videos, one of which Lopez had tried to delete, which showed the officer setting up the phone in his son's bedroom, then returning to the room to have sex with a prostitute who didn’t know the encounter was being recorded.

The woman was brought in for questioning and said she and Lopez had met for sex on numerous occasions, according to the affidavit.

Lopez was re-arrested later that afternoon and transported to the McLennan County Jail, but he was released hours later after posting a $2,500 bond.