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Los Angeles News

2 LAPD Officers Accused Of Sexual Misconduct
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Jan 4, 2013 - 4:53:23 PM

LOS ANGELES—Two veteran LAPD officers are under investigation for reports that claim they forced women, including informants, to have sex with them. Officers Luis Valenzuela, who's been with the LAPD for 15 years, and James Nichols, a 12-year veteran, work undercover in the Hollywood Division's narcotics section.
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LAPD Hollywood Division.


According to a lawsuit that was filed against the city on Thursday, January 3, two officers demanded a woman who was a drug informant to perform sexual acts and have sex with both of the officers on separate occasions. The lawsuit also indicates that the woman was threatened with jail time if she did not cooperate.


The allegations go back to before 2010 as the LAPD stated it was difficult to track down witnesses. There are at least four alleged victims who were either arrested previously or were working as police informants. It is reported that the officers would drive women, sometimes handcuffed, to secluded areas in unmarked cars and one would keep a watch as the other demanded sex.

"I am shocked and saddened by these allegations of criminal misconduct," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck in a statement. "We will investigate this matter thoroughly and if proven true, we will prosecute the officers both administratively and criminally."

The first woman claimed that the pair approached her a year after they first stopped her for a narcotics offense in January 2010. She was threatened to go to jail if she did not comply, thus, got into the Volkswagen Jetta and was forced to perform in a sexual act.

Another woman claimed a year later that the officers stopped her as she was walking her dog in Hollywood. She had been arrested and taken to the LAPD Hollywood station prior and she recognized the officers as they were the officers who had arrested her. She got into the car believing it was connected to a case, however, was forced to perform oral sex on Valenzuela. She states that she did not report the assault immediately out of humiliation and fear for her safety.

In July 2012, a member of the Echo Park neighborhood watch reported to police that a prostitute told him that LAPD officers were preying on prostitutes and exchanging no jail time for sexual favors. The location and circumstances are seen as similar and have been connected to the investigation of Valenzuela and Nichols. Another two women stated they were forced to have sex or perform sexual acts with the officers twice in exchange for leniency.

As of press time, no arrests have been made. The two officers are currently on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


 

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