Customs and Border Protection officer charged in separate sexual assaults

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer from Fountain Valley was charged Monday with raping and sodomizing two women.

Miguel Lerma, 31, was charged with one felony count of forcible rape, sodomy by force and forcible oral copulation of a woman in Orange County.

He has also been charged with one felony count of rape by use of drugs of a woman in Los Angeles County, according to the Orange County district attorney's office, which is prosecuting Lerma for both cases.

If convicted, Lerma could spend up to 32 years in state prison, prosecutors said.

He is being held on $1-million bail.

Lerma's arraignment was continued to 8:30 a.m. April 18 at Department W-14 in the West Justice Center in Westminster.

Lerma is accused of raping a woman in Long Beach on Sept. 10, 2009, after meeting her while she was out drinking with a friend, according to prosecutors.

Over the night, the woman became intoxicated and blacked out.

Lerma allegedly raped her while she was unconscious, prosecutors said. She found herself in the bushes alone after waking up.

Police questioned Lerma about the rape. He submitted a DNA test and was under investigation by the Los Angeles district attorney's office when he allegedly raped the second woman, prosecutors said.

On Nov. 14, Lerma picked up a prostitute and drove her to an industrial area in Garden Grove, prosecutors said. The woman reportedly became frightened and tried to leave.

Lerma got out of the car, forced her into oral copulation, sodomized and raped her, prosecutors said.

He then got back into his car and fled the scene.

DNA collected from the scene after the woman reported the sexual assault was linked to the DNA test Lerma provided for the first rape, prosecutors said.

Anyone who has information on the case or believes they have been a victim of Lerma is asked to contact Supervising Dist. Atty. Investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794 or Garden Grove Police Department Det. Dave Young at (714) 741-5836.

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