A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy allegedly offered not to arrest two women he pulled over in exchange for sex, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Jose Rigaberto Sanchez, 28, is accused of raping women and soliciting bribes while on duty. He was arrested at his home Monday night without incident after a nearly three-year investigation.
Sanchez is charged with soliciting a bribe from a woman he pulled over in Palmdale while on duty Sept. 22, 2010, according to the district attorney's office. The deputy allegedly offered not to arrest her on an outstanding warrant in exchange for sex, an investigation by district attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division showed.
Two nights later, he solicited a bribe in the form of sexual activity from a woman he pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, the district attorney’s office said.
Sanchez, a seven-year department veteran, was most recently assigned to patrol duties at the Palmdale Station.
He has been charged with 11 counts including sexual penetration under the color of authority, soliciting a bribe from alleged victims, and rape under fear or distress, according to agency spokesman Steve Whitmore.
"He was trying to coerce them [alleged victims] into doing something," Whitmore said. "This all happened on duty."
The Sheriff's Department launched an investigation in 2010 after receiving a tip from an informant, Whitmore said. Sanchez was relieved from duty with pay in September 2010 after the tip was received, and his pay was suspended after he was arrested at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Whitmore said.
Sanchez was being held Monday night in lieu of $1.45-million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning in downtown Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
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