A Los Angeles police detective has been charged with sexually assaulting three women working at massage parlors. The businesses fell under his jurisdiction of enforcing permits, prosecutors said Friday.
Oris Pace, 48, was arrested Thursday after the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged him with five felony counts of assault by a public officer and six counts of sexual battery by restraint. He was released on bond pending a Jan. 24 hearing. If convicted of the 11 felonies he could face nine years in prison.
As a supervisor with the Los Angeles Police Commission Investigation Division, Pace was responsible for enforcing business permits, including for massage parlors. The alleged assaults occurred at parlors across the San Fernando Valley while Pace was on duty, prosecutors said.
Pace allegedly forced three victims to either undress, or allow him to undress them, before he fondled them, said Jane Robison, a district attorney's spokeswoman.
The alleged offenses occurred between Jan. 1, 2011, and Jan. 9, 2012, according to prosecutors.
Authorities first learned of potential problems with Pace in November 2011, when a female massage parlor worker complained about his conduct. Robison said that woman is not among the workers Pace is charged with assaulting, but the accusation did lead authorities to discover the other alleged victims.
Pace has been placed on leave.