Days after the photo was taken at the police station, it appeared on TMZ, but after a three-year investigation into the leak of the photo, which shows a bloodied and beaten Rihanna shortly after her then boyfriend assaulted her after a pre-Grammy party, the Los Angeles County district attorney announced that the two officers won’t face charges. There is apparently not enough evidence linking the two officers and TMZ or showing a clear money trail.
While they have been cleared of these charges, officers Blanca Lopez and Rebecca Reyes will still have to face a disciplinary committee in August, meaning they could still get fired from their posts at the LAPD.
According to the investigation, Reyes took the photo with her cell phone off a stack of photos of Rihanna’s injuries. She then sent it to her personal e-mail address from her LAPD one. Reyes and Lopez were roommates at the time and made multiple phone calls to TMZ and Fox Television in February 2009. Despite phone records to the media outlets, there was not sufficient evidence that money was exchanged in the lead-up to the photo leak.
According to Fox News, the Associated Press received a copy of a March 2012 report on Thursday, in which the prosecutor says they “must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Reyes and Lopez disclosed the image of Robyn F. (Rihanna) to TMZ and obtained money in exchange for this disclosure. … As such, although both Reyes and Lopez’s actions are suspicious, they are insufficient to support a criminal prosecution.”
Meanwhile, Ri’s attorney, Donald Etra, added, “Apparently this was an internal decision by the district attorney. A victim’s privacy should be protected.” Etra didn’t say whether Rihanna would pursue any legal action on her own.