Disclaimer: “All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) – A former Denham Springs police officer accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile was taken into custody in Livingston Parish Wednesday.

Authorities identified the former officer as Joseph Reid Copeland. He faces charges of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and malfeasance in office

The former police officer left the department after an internal affairs investigation was launched, according to the Denham Springs Police Department. The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is leading the criminal investigation.

Copeland was arrested Tuesday, Aug. 30 in Irving, Texas before being extradited to Louisiana, according to the sheriff’s office. He is to be booked into Livingston Parish Detention Center on Wednesday night.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard shared the following statement regarding the investigation on Friday, Aug. 26:

“While this is still an ongoing investigation, we can tell you that the Denham Springs Police Chief asked us to look into an incident that occurred around the 19th of August 2022. Through our investigation, warrants were issued for Felony Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile & Malfeasance in Office for Joseph Reid Copeland. We also have reason to believe Copeland is no longer in the area at this time. We’re asking anyone with information to call us at (225) 686-2241 x1 or Capital Region CrimeStoppers at (225) 344-STOP. I’d also like to add that the Denham Springs Police Chief & members of his department have cooperated fully with our investigation & continue to do so.”