Police sergeant arrested for allegedly soliciting sex with minor found dead

Police said the sergeant's death appeared to be a suicide.

A California police sergeant who was arrested for allegedly soliciting a minor for sex was found dead on the same day that he was supposed to appear in court, officials said.

Officers with the San Diego Police Department found Sgt. Joseph Ruvido dead in his apartment on Aug. 5, Police Chief David Nisleit said at a news conference.

Nisleit said Ruvido, 49, was found with an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound” and that “all indications [were] that this [was] a suicide.”

Ruvido was arrested on July 26 in Carmel Valley, according to a July 27 news release from the San Diego Police Department. The investigation began after police received a CrimeStoppers tip on July 24 that "identified individuals soliciting sex with minors" and found that Ruvido was one of the individuals, the news release said.

San Diego County District Attorney’s Office public affairs officer Tanya Sierra told ABC News that Ruvido faced felony charges of arranging and going to a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose and attempted lewd and lascivious act with a 14 or 15 year old, as well as a misdemeanor charge of arranging a meeting with a minor for a lewd purpose. Sierra said Ruvido would have faced up to four years in state prison and register as a sex offender.

ABC affiliate KGTV reported that the judge at Ruvido’s appearance issued a bench warrant and revoked his bail when he did not appear.

Officers went to Ruvido’s apartment after discovering that he failed to appear in court, according to Nisleit.

Nisleit said Ruvido was a 21-year veteran of the department who was assigned to the department's Watch Commander’s Unit and had previously been a patrol sergeant in the department’s eastern and southeastern divisions. He was on unpaid leave at the time of his death, according to Nisleit.

The investigation into the allegations against Ruvido will remain open, Nisleit said.