Two LAPD officers are accused of raping and sexually assaulting several women while on duty, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The perpetrators, Luis Valenzuela, 43, and James C. Nichols, 44, face numerous felony charges for crimes committed from from 2008 to 2011.
The investigation was launched by the cowards’ own police department. The men were put on unpaid leave just two years ago after a woman came forward claiming she had been assaulted.
In 2014, detectives took over the investigation to build a strong enough case against the men to present to the prosecutor.
“These two officers have disgraced themselves, they’ve disgraced this badge, they’ve disgraced their oath of office,” police Chief Charlie Beck told the LA Times. “I am extremely troubled by what they’ve done.”
This case comes just on the heels of the Daniel Hotlzclaw verdict, where an Oklahoma City police officer was found guilty of rape, sexual battery, and forcible oral sodomy among other charges.
These officers allegedly used the same intimidation and arrest tactics that Holtzclaw used to trap his victims. Building a case against the two men was an uphill battle because the officers “preyed on folks that are sometimes reluctant witnesses, reluctant victims,” Beck explained.
The pair worked in the narcotics department of LAPD’s Hollywood division and used this mantle to threaten women, who had been previously arrested, with more jail time if they didn’t commit sexual acts.
Like the Holtzclaw case, it took many women voicing complaints about the attackers over several years before an official arrest was issued. The gross misuse of power from boys in blue is no new thing, and apparently, our cries for help being ignored isn’t new either.
Hopefully as these criminals’ offenses are brought to light, more officers will think twice about using their position to violate and harm those they are supposed to be help.