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CHP officer arrested for alleged teen sex misconduct

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — A California Highway Patrol officer has been arrested on suspicion of committing sexual misconduct with two teenage girls.

Forty-four-year-old Robert Stephano of Joshua Tree was arrested Friday in Twentynine Palms. He was booked for allegedly committing lewd and lascivious acts with a 14-year-old girl and communicating with and arranging to meet a minor to commit a sex crime.

Investigators with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department say the second alleged victim was 17.

They allege Stephano solicited minors for sex as far back as 2010.

Stephano is being held on $250,000 bail. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

The Sheriff’s Department says Stephano is a 12-year CHP veteran who worked out of the Morongo Bay Station. Authorities say he also volunteered with a softball league and church youth groups.