LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was charged with 11 felonies, including “kidnapping to commit another crime, rape by fear or duress, and multiple counts of sexual assault under color of authority,” the District Attorney’s Office said.
Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, 28, was arrested Monday evening and charged with rape and other charges involving two women, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.
Sanchez is being held on $1.45 million bail. He was to be arraigned today (Wednesday). If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The 11 felony counts include soliciting a bribe.
Sanchez is accused of soliciting a bribe – sex – from a woman he pulled over in Palmdale on Sept. 22, 2010.
“Sanchez allegedly offered not to arrest her on an outstanding warrant in exchange for sex,” the District Attorney’s Office said in its statement.
Two nights later, Sanchez did it again, prosecutors said. He “allegedly solicited a bribe in the form of sexual activity” from another woman.
Sanchez worked at the Sheriff’s Department for seven years, most recently as a patrolman at the Palmdale station, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department investigated Sanchez after an informant tipped it off in 2010. Soon after, Sanchez was relieved from duty with pay. His pay was suspended after his arrest Monday, Whitmore told the Times.
“He was trying to coerce them [the alleged victims] into doing something,” Whitmore said. “This all happened on duty.”
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