Hearing delayed for officer charged with rape, abuse

The preliminary hearing for a former Huntington Beach police officer charged with 20 felony counts, including rape and forcible sodomy, has been pushed to July.

James Roberts III's preliminary hearing was postponed until July 22, according to court records. It was originally scheduled for Monday.

Roberts, 34, is suspected of abusing his wife, an alleged mistress and another man while serving as an officer with the Huntington Beach Police Department.

Roberts was charged in February and pleaded not guilty to rape, forcible sodomy, spousal rape, false imprisonment by violence or deceit, criminal threats, domestic battery, aggravated assault, dissuading a witness and vandalism.

The charges hold a maximum sentence of 23 years and four months in prison, officials said.

Roberts was arrested in September and put on administrative leave until he was fired April 15. He collected a full paycheck of $7,275 a month during the more than six-month investigation.

Robert's ex-wife and alleged mistress have filed separate lawsuits against the city accusing officials of conspiring to allow the alleged abuse to continue by ignoring and covering it up.

— Britney Barnes

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