A pair of LAPD officers accused of sexually assaulting women while on the job were officially charged Wednesday for the crimes committed between 2008 and 2011, as announced by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Officers James Nichols and Luis Valenzuela carried out a series of assaults and other extreme actions often while wearing the badge.
As reported by KTLA, Nichols, 44, and Valenzuela, 43, were charged with counts of forcible rape, rape under the color of authority, oral copulation under the color of authority, and oral copulation by force. The District Attorney’s Office issued a statement yesterday detailing the actions prosecutors took.
From the L.A. County DA:
Two veteran Los Angeles Police Department officers who worked as partners assigned to the Hollywood Division have been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting four women, often while the pair was on duty, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.
James Nichols (dob 2/4/72) and Luis Valenzuela (5/11/72) are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday in Department 30 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in case BA444092. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $3.83 million for Nichols and $3.76 million for Valenzuela. The case was filed on Tuesday.
Deputy District Attorneys Stephanie Sparagna and Ann Marie Wise with the Justice System Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.
Beginning in December 2008, after they became partners, and continuing through March 2011, the two men allegedly began sexually assaulting women at various locations, including in their police vehicle, prosecutors said. All four women were arrested at various times by the officers during narcotics-related offenses.
At the time the alleged assaults occurred, the victims were 19, 24, 25 and 34 years of age. Most, but not all, of the alleged sexual assaults occurred while the officers were on duty.
LAPD’s Chief Charlie Beck sternly said to reporters that the officers “disgraced” the department.
Photo: By Chris Yarzab – https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisyarzab/5829444535, CC BY 2.0