A police officer in Woodlake in California’s Central Valley was charged Monday with 12 felony counts for allegedly using his status of an officer to sexually assault two women.
Oscar Robles, 26, is accused of threatening to arrest or deport women and then raping them, assault with the intent to commit burglary and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, among other charges. If convicted, he faces life in prison, according to the Tulare County district attorney’s office.
Robles was arrested last week after police encountered a woman on the street who told them she wanted to complain about an officer who sexually assaulted her, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said.
Officials began investigating Robles and located another women who said he assaulted her. The two women did not know each other but identified Robles by name and described similar circumstances of their assaults, officials told reporters at a news conference Friday.
Robles was in uniform at the time of the alleged assaults, which occurred in and around Woodlake, authorities said.
Robles was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, said Woodlake police Chief Mike Marquez.
“It’s an absolutely life-changing experience to everyone involved, from the law enforcement world to the shock to our community as well as to the victims of this case.” said Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. “We will hold accountable police officers if they so choose to tarnish the badge.”
Boudreaux also asked for any other victims who were assaulted by Robles to come forward.
“We’re here for those victims and we would encourage … any potential additional victims of this suspect to please come and tell your story. We’re here for you, we will protect you.”
Robles had been a member of the Woodland Police Department since May 2014 and he had no other strikes on his record, Marquez said.