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Top News Story! Blue Sex Assault! San Diego PD!
April 15, 2011
A veteran San Diego police officer, charged with demanding sexual favors from women after traffic stops, has been fired, police officials announced Friday. Anthony Arevalos, 40, an 18-year veteran, faces felony charges involving at least five women who say he demanded sex after stopping them for alleged traffic offenses. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on bail.
Arevalos (pictured left) an 18-year veteran of the SDPD, was arrested March 11 after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her during a traffic stop in the Gaslamp Quarter. Four other women came forward and accused Arevalos, 40, of trying to elicit sexual favors during traffic stops in the same area. He had been suspended from the department prior to being terminated. Arevalos has pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts, including sexual battery, false imprisonment, assault under color of authority and accepting a bribe.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
In recent months, four other San Diego police officers have been accused of various crimes, including DUI, hit-and-run, domestic abuse, rape and stalking a fellow officer.
NYPD! Secret Confessions!
April 15, 2011
NEW YORK (WCJB) — For the first time after the alleged rape more than two years ago, Officer Kenneth Moreno and Officer Franklin Mata came face to face with their accuser. Moreno is accused of then raping the woman while Mata served as a lookout. The 29-year-old fashion executive was very emotional when she took the stand, reliving that night in December 2008. The young woman described a day and night of drinking with friends to celebrate her new job in California.
She claimed to begin drinking at noon, leading to a night of champagne, Jägermeister and vodka. The woman said she was so drunk she has no memories of how she arrived at her East Village apartment later that evening. Testifying she blacked out numerous times, the victim said she did recall two police officers helping her out of a cab and leading her up to her apartment.
( Accused NYPD Officers Kenneth Moreno (L), Franklin Mata (R).)
Of her few memories, the woman said she remembers being shaken out of her stupor by someone rolling her tights down her legs. She said she heard clothes rustling and Velcro ripping before passing out one more time. “I woke up to being penetrated from behind,” she said. The woman said she was helpless and could not cry out for help. “I was so intoxicated, I was dead weight. I couldn’t move, or do, or say anything,” she said.
Assistant District Attorney Coleen Balbert broke up the questioning to play surveillance video of the woman and the officers, from two different angles outside her building. All of it was obviously painful. The jury was riveted as the woman broke down several times, clutching tissues, struggling to continue. Then came her recollection of waking the next day. “I remember lying face down on the bed. I was naked except for my bra,” she said. When asked how often she sleeps naked, the woman said, “Never! I saw the light from the morning … and I felt the shock of the rape. I felt like I had been penetrated. My body felt like someone had sex with me.”
Late in the day a 20-minute audio tape was played for the jury. It was made ten days after the incident as the accuser wore a wire and confronted Moreno outside of the 9th Precinct.
“You’re asking me to admit to something that never happened,” Moreno said on tape.
“Did you use a condom?” the woman asked.
“Yes, yes I did,” Moreno replied.
Earlier in the trial, the jury heard 911 tapes after prosecutors said Moreno and Mata called police pretending to be citizens and reported phony situations that required police attention in order to keep themselves in the vicinity of the East 13th Street building where the alleged rape occurred.
April 14, 2011
Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata are charged with rape, burglary and misconduct in the December 2008 incident. They responded to a 911 call from a cabbie who said his fare was too drunk to exit his taxi, and they escorted the woman to her apartment. The 29-year-old woman told the jury in state Supreme Court in Manhattan that she vomited and repeatedly passed out during the evening, waking once to the sensation of someone removing her tights. She said she heard "the rustling of clothing and very loud Velcro ripping."
Bulletproof vests worn by city police officers are fastened with Velcro, prosecutors have said.
"I was so intoxicated I couldn't say or do anything," the woman said. "My body was complete dead weight."
After passing out again, the victim said, she later woke up when she was being raped.
"I woke up to being penetrated from behind," she said.
Twice during her testimony the woman became so distraught that her statements were unintelligible, and Judge Gregory Carro ordered a break in proceedings to allow her to regain composure.
Both officers face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the charges. Moreno is accused of raping the woman and Mata of standing lookout, making him culpable in the crime.
A nearby bar's security cameras captured images of Moreno and Mata helping the woman into her building and then returning at least twice later that night, authorities said.
The two officers were arrested in April 2009 after the victim secretly taped a conversation with Moreno outside his police precinct, in which he said he wore a condom during the incident, authorities said.
Moreno's defense lawyers contend he was merely trying to calm the victim and keep her from causing a disturbance at the police station.
Moreno denies raping the woman, and has said he was simply comforting her because she was upset about drinking too much.
April 12, 2011
NEW YORK (WCJB) – Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, pretending to be citizens, called 911 and reported phony situations that required police attention in order to keep themselves in the vicinity of the East 13th Street building where the alleged rape occurred. Moreno and Mata were called to help the alleged victim out of a cab and into her apartment after a night of heavy drinking in December 2008. Moreno is accused of then raping the woman while Mata served as a lookout.
LISTEN: 911 call that prosecutors say was made so officers could return to the alleged victim’s apartment.
In one call to 911, in a tape played for the jury, a man who identified himself as “John Edward” reported a homeless man snoring in the entrance to a building on East 13th Street. The call was made at 1:47 a.m. on December 7, 2008.
When another radio car offered to handle that one, the accused officers jumped on the radio saying ‘Oh no, we’ll go,’ Cornell reported.
(On trial: New York policeman Kenneth Moreno, 43, left, has been charged with raping a drunk woman in her flat while colleague Franklin Mata, 27, right, stood guard.)
Below is the surveillance videos of the officers entering and leaving the building four times over several hours, on the night of the rape.
April 11, 2011
Defense attorneys for the cops charged in the sexual assault of a Manhattan woman tried to undermine a witness who testified Monday that the accuser told her "a cop raped me." Suzanne Zaretsky was the third friend of the East Village woman to testify at the trial of Officer Kenneth Moreno, who is accused of rape, and Officer Franklin Mata, who allegedly served as a lookout. "She did say I was raped by a cop," Zaretsky testified, recalling how her friend knocked on her door on Dec. 7 just hours after the alleged rape.
Moreno's lawyer contends there was no rape and the accuser was too bombed to remember what really happened. The Defense attorney for Moreno also pointed to investigators' notes in which Zaretsky claims the woman blurted out, "Where is Lizzy? I think something bad happened." Zaretsky said she didn't remember using those words in talks with detectives. Mata's lawyer insisted the accuser actually told her, "I think something bad happened."
"No," Zaretsky insisted. But when asked why she told a grand jury that her friend "believed" she had been raped, Zaretsky said she didn't know why she used that particular word. But she said it was her word - not her friend's.
On Friday, witness Megan O'Leary testified that the accuser told her definitively that she's been raped by a cop. "I can't believe this happened," the woman said, according to O'Leary. "I can't believe they did that." Her testimony came a day after the accuser's boss at Gap Inc. testified she said she was raped and that a cop was the culprit. That undercuts defense claims the 29-year-old woman, who was very drunk that night, told friends she wasn't sure she was raped. Prosecutors say Moreno forced himself on the victim while she was passed out while Mata allegedly kept a lookout.
The cops were summoned to the woman's E. 13th St. building after her cab driver called 911 for her. They helped her inside and stayed for seven minutes. Records showed they returned to her pad three more times that night. Defense lawyers say that the cops were just checking up on the woman.
Last updated: 11:09 AM PDT - 8th April 2011
The Gap fashion executive accusing two policemen of rape has been shown walking steadily up to her door in previously-unseen surveillance footage in court. Witnesses have said the 28-year-old was so drunk she could not even stand up before the alleged New York rape by NYPD cops Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata. The video did show accused rapist Moreno and lookout Mata making three return trips in five hours, but the policemen are hoping the 2008 CCTV tape will help their case.
The woman’s taxi driver and three of her friends have so far told jurors that she was a drunken wreck after a night of champagne and five Jack Daniel's and Red Bull drinks. But the video footage seems to show the woman animated, walking steadily and talking with Mata while extending her hand in a conversational gesture. Mata places his hand on the woman’s back as she approaches the door and Moreno follows them behind, according to the tape shown in New York's Supreme Court. She is then seen pushing her own door in East Village, reported media sources.
Moreno and Mata, charged with conspiring to rape the woman, deny intercourse that night and hope they will not be convicted if intoxication cannot be proven. But prosecutors Coleen Balbert and Randolph Clarke have promised much evidence proving she was too drunk to consent, such as test results for blood-alcohol content. Prosecutors claim a taxi driver called 911 to say she was too drunk to get herself out of a taxi. Their case rests on the woman being too drunk to consent to having sex. The officers helped her into the flat but later returned and Moreno raped her while Mata stood watch, prosecutors said.
‘She seemed intoxicated,’ one visitor to her flat said. ‘By her appearance. The way she's walking. The way her heels sounded.'
The woman’s boss also cried as she told jurors earlier in the trial that the woman was ‘devastated’ and ‘demoralized’ after the incident.
One defense attorney has previously claimed the woman only became '100 per cent positive' she was raped after filing a $60 million lawsuit against New York City. Moreno and Mata deny all charges, including rape and burglary. The trial continues.
April 6, 2011
NEW YORK (WCJB) – Testimony resumed in the shocking rape trial of two NYPD officers Tuesday. Prosecutors allege officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata (pictured below) helped an inebriated 28-year-old fashion industry executive out of a cab in December 2008 before Moreno allegedly raped her inside her East Village apartment while Mata served as a lookout.The officers were called to help the alleged victim, who was inebriated after attending her own going away party, get inside her apartment.
Two of the victim’s friends, who had been at the party, took the stand Tuesday. Kendra Taylor testified that shortly after midnight the accuser wanted to go home because she wasn’t feeling well. Laurie Simi described the victim as intoxicated, stumbling and unable to stand on her own as they tried to get her into a cab. “I thought she was intoxicated. Any time you have to walk someone to the sidewalk, and then put them in a cab, they’re not OK,” Simi testified. One Defense attorney argued that the woman was coherent. “While there’s no doubt alcohol was involved in this case it wasn’t to the point that it rendered someone unconscious,” he said.
Another Defense attorney claimed the victim was not out cold. “If someone is intoxicated, part of the law involves their ability to communicate and here we’ve got every witness that’s able to communicate with her just fine,” he said. Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clarke called the cabbie, “Kofi,” to the stand. He testified the woman was so drunk on the way to her East Village apartment, she threw up on the street in Brooklyn, and then on the Manhattan Bridge. “She asked me if I could stop the car so she could vomit. I said no,” the cabbie said, adding when asked what happened next, “She make a noise like she vomit, in the car.” When asked what happened at her building, the cabbie said, “She asked me for assistance, to get out the cab. I say no. I call 9-1-1.” However, one defense attorney said a security video will show a jury that the accuser was able to make it into her apartment without assistance. “They’re going to see the complaining witness walking on her own, in high heels, into a building, up three flights of stairs, on her own,” he said. The officers were recorded on surveillance video making four visits to the victim’s apartment that night.
On Monday, one defense attorney told the jury the officers returned because Moreno is a recovering alcoholic who was really trying to help, claiming the woman told Moreno: “She was upset that she drinks too much. (She) was comforted by Officer Moreno. (She) asked him to come back. Why did he come back again and again? Would a rapist do that?” And then came a bombshell from the defense lawyer. “She became flirtatious with Officer Moreno in that apartment. He made a conscious decision to succumb to physical contact with her. But he did not have sexual intercourse with her!” he said. There is no DNA in this case.
Prosecutors said that through their actions the officer’s “targeted two things: the sanctity of our bodies, and the sanctity of our homes” and turned the woman’s celebration into a “night of horror.” Prosecutor called the officers’ actions ”calculated” and “predatory.” Prosecutors likely will try to use Moreno’s own words against him, statements he made to the alleged victim while she was working with the D.A.’s office and wearing a wire. Moreno repeatedly denied the rape, saying “You’re asking me to admit to something that never happened.” But when pressed, and asked if he wore a condom, he replied: “Yes, yes I did.”
April 4, 2011
New York, NY (WCJB) - A drunken fashion executive assaulted by an on-duty police officer was unsure whether she was actually raped, a court heard today. NYPD policemen Kenneth Moreno , 43, and Franklin Mata, 27, helped the woman out of a taxi in 2008 before Moreno raped her and Mata stood as watch, prosecutors said. But the 27-year-old was doubtful of what happened after running upstairs to tell her New York neighbours she been attacked, an attorney defending Officer Moreno, told a jury. Both officers are on trial in the state Supreme Court after they were summoned by a taxi driver to help the drunk woman get out of his cab in Manhattan.
The woman had just attended a going-away party but ‘what started out as a day of celebration turned into a night of horror’, Randolph Clark, prosecuting, told the court. She remembered lying face down on her bed, hearing a police radio, her tights being pulled down and waking up naked aware that she had been raped, Mr Clarke said. CCTV footage allegedly showed the officers attending the scene four times, although her memory of what happened on those visits is sporadic.
‘But she does remember being offered a glass of water, being picked up off the floor of her bathroom, and being face down on her bed,’ Mr Clarke said. ‘She remembers her tights were taken down. She remembers the sound of Velcro (and) being penetrated,’ he said. ‘She could not stop the abuse. She was helpless.’ The woman secretly taped a conversation with Moreno, who allegedly said ‘nothing happened’ - although when she him asked if he had used a condom, he said ‘yes’.
But Moreno’s lawyer claims they did nothing illegal. ‘She wasn't even sure that she was raped,' he said. 'She told them she thought she was (and) believed she was. ‘If she can't say without conviction that she was raped, how are you going to say it beyond a reasonable doubt?’ But the two officers committed ‘unspeakable acts of brutality’ and were ‘supposed to be the ones to protect us,’ Mr Clarke told the court. Moreno and Mata are both contesting charges including rape and burglary. Mata is accused of standing guard, but this is seen as him acting together with Moreno.
The woman only became sure she was a rape victim after filing a federal lawsuit of more than $60 million against the NYPD, a defense attorney told the court. 'When did that become: "I'm 100 per cent sure that I was raped?"' he said. 'She has millions, millions of reasons to do away with what was once a "maybe" in her eye.'
The trial continues.
Rape Duo! Officer showed anger, boredom during rape!
Published: April 14, 2010
Updated: April 15, 2010 10:58 a.m.
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – A Westminster police officer veered between anger and boredom as he raped a woman inside the victim's car, beating the 25-year-old mother with a closed fist, choking her, and playing with his gun, according to a police report of the allegations. Previously unreported details from an Ontario Police Department account of the attack – allegedly by Anthony Nicholas Orban, a detective with the Westminster Police Department and a former Marine – paint a disturbing picture of events that could put Orban behind bars for life. Orban has pleaded not guilty in the April 3 rape and carjacking and are being held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $2 million bail.
During the assault outside a storage shed in Fontana, police allege, Orban used his cell phone to snap pictures of the attack – behavior "consistent with a sex offender who wants to keep a souvenir of his superior accomplishments,'' according to the police report, based on interviews with the accuser and the two defendants.
Orban, who is married and lives in Irvine, is accused of carrying out what the attacked woman portrays as a brutal, terrifying assault after he forced her into her SUV at gunpoint when she left her restaurant job at Ontario Mills Mall at around 5:30 p.m.
At first, Orban appeared to be "extremely angry" as the two drove away, according to the report. Fearing for her life, the report said, the woman acted calm, which appeared to calm Orban down, too. After a short drive, Orban promised to let her go, she told police. The woman, who told police she had never met Orban or Jelinek before, pulled off the I-15 freeway in Fontana into a parking lot next to a Denny's, the report says. Orban spotted an ambulance in the parking lot and told her to drive to a different section of the lot, and she pulled in front of a storage business, she told police, according to the report.
The victim talked about her child and other personal matters as Orban continued to waver on letting her go, she told police. Orban, who has a tattoo of a nude woman on his left forearm, smiled and asked if she was scared, she said, according to the police report. Orban then said he would let her go, "but she had to do something before he left," she told the police, according to the report. He unbuttoned his pants and told the woman to orally copulate him, she told police. On about seven more separate occasions, while the woman was orally copulating him, Orban would slap her face or snap his fingers to get her to stop and start, she told police.
"It appeared he was doing this to manipulate her fears," the report said, citing the interview with the victim. At one time, according to the accuser, while forcing her to have sexual intercourse with him in the back seat, Orban played with his .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and a bullet fell out of the chamber, she told police, the report said. On another occasion, Orban set his weapon down in her child's empty car seat, she told police.
"The victim said during the entire assault Orban appeared to get bored very easily and would slap her to see how she reacted," the report said. "The victim said it appeared Orban was getting a thrill out of seeing the fear on her face." While attempting another sexual act on the victim, according to the report, Orban became violent when he could not maintain an erection, she told police. He punched the woman with a closed right fist on the right side of her face twice and "it appeared he was getting pleasure from hurting her," she told police. He then punched her so hard in the stomach that "she felt as if she could not breathe," the report says.
Later that night, after his arrest, Orban told police he had been having erection problems for the past year, according to the report. Orban also told police that he had taken two anti-depressants that morning, Zoloft and Neurontin, before spending the hours leading up to attack drinking beer and margaritas with his old friend, Jelinek.
At least twice during the rape, Orban threatened to shoot the woman, and he put the barrel of his gun inside her mouth once and rubbed the weapon on the side of her face "in an effort to scare her," the report says, citing the interview with the victim. He also tried to choke the woman, she alleged – at one time jamming his thumbs close to her esophagus so hard she thought she was going to lose consciousness. Another time, Orban stuck two fingers down her throat to gag and choke her, she told police, the report says.
The attack ended when Orban, after letting the woman get dressed, got distracted by cell phone calls, she told police. She bolted from her unlocked back door to a nearby liquor store and told the clerk to call police. Orban grabbed the woman's keys and called Jelinek to pick him up at a gas station next to the Denny's, according to the police report. But Orban left behind, in the woman's car, his service weapon and sunglasses – and the bullet, the report says. The woman's keys later were found in the possession of Jelinek, according to the report.
Jelinek told police that he and Orban spent Saturday "stalking cute girls," but that he should have stopped the attack from unfolding. "I should have done more," he said, referring to the moment when Orban is alleged to have forced himself into the woman's car at the mall, the report said. Asked what he meant, he said, "Call the cops."
From her perspective, though, the woman who reported the attack thought Jelinek, a correctional officer at the Chino Institute for Men, didn't appear to be too concerned when Orban carjacked her. She said Jelinek laughed – "like he didn't seem to give a (expletive)," according to the police report. Jelinek later told police he received photos of the assault on his phone, sent by Orban. One text message from Orban read, "Look what I'm doing," according to the police report. Jelinek, of Ontario, said he knew it was a crime to pick Orban up after the assault and that he felt he was an accessory to the crime, according to the police report. He also admitted to erasing text messages from Orban. At one point during his interview with Ontario police, Jelinek said he "knew he had ruined his career as a correctional officer," according to the report.
Guilty! Jeff Thomas Jelinek
April 7, 2011
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA – A former correctional officer charged in the kidnapping and rape of a young mother in Fontana last year has pleaded guilty and will testify against his co-defendant, an ex-Westminster police detective who faces life in prison for allegedly carrying out the brutal attack. Jeff Thomas Jelinek, 31, who as an alleged accessory was facing a possible life sentence, instead will serve 5 years 4 months in state prison in exchange for taking the stand against his longtime friend, Anthony Nicholas Orban, 31, at a trial expected to start next month. The plea agreement was reached Wednesday in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
(Ontario Police booking photos of Anthony Orban (left) and Jeff Jelinek.)Jelinek, originally charged with rape, kidnapping and other felonies stemming from the April 3, 2010 attack, pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon, accessory after the fact, and false imprisonment, according to court records. The other charges were dropped. San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus would not comment on the details of Jelinek's planned testimony. Jelinek is scheduled to be sentenced May 4, but that date will be carried over until Jelinek completes his testimony, Ploghaus said. A firm date for the trial to start before Judge Stephen G. Saleson in Rancho Cucamonga has yet to be set. An attorney representing Jelinek, of Ontario, could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Jelinek and Orban, a Marine before he became a police officer, have been held on $2 million bail since being accused of spending the day drinking and stalking women in the Rancho Cucamonga area before happening upon their victim and raping her after she left her waitressing job at the Ontario Mills Mall. Both Orban and Jelinek, who at the time was a prison guard at the California Institution for Men, were off duty but carrying their service weapons when the kidnapping and attack occurred, according to Ontario police and prosecutors.
Orban is accused of forcing himself into the 25-year-old woman's car at gunpoint while Jelinek stood by, and then ordering her to drive to a parking lot in a Fontana business park, leaving Jelinek behind. Orban then allegedly spent two hours raping her, beating her, choking her and threatening to kill her with his service weapon – at one time placing his gun in the car seat used by her child, according to an Ontario Police Department report and testimony at a preliminary hearing.
Jelinek tried to cover up for Orban after both were arrested later that night by erasing some text messages Orban had sent during the attack to Jelinek's cell phone, according to prosecutors.
During the rape, prosecutors allege, Orban took pictures and sent the images on his cell phone to Jelinek. One message accompanying an image said, "Look what I'm doing," according to the police report. The attack ended when Orban, after letting the woman get dressed, got distracted by cell phone calls, the victim told police in an interview. She bolted from the unlocked back door of her SUV and fled to a nearby liquor store, where she told the clerk to call police. Orban grabbed the woman's keys and called Jelinek to pick him up at a nearby gas station, according to the police report. But Orban left behind his service weapon and sunglasses in the woman's car, the report says. Orban's name was written on the barrel of the gun, and a bullet that dislodged from the chamber also was found in the woman's car, according to the report. The woman's keys were found in Jelinek's possession, according to the police report.
Orban and Jelinek were arrested later that night after Orban's wife called police to report his gun was missing and police were interviewing Orban and Jelinek at Ontario Mills Mall. During the interview, the victim was brought to the scene in a police car and she identified the two as her assailants.
Orban's attorney, was not immediately available for comment Thursday. He is expected to mount a "mental defense," citing medications Orban was taking, as well as lingering signs of post-traumatic stress disorder from his time as a Marine, as possible explanations for what Orban's attorney has characterized as aberrant behavior. Before his arrest, Orban had no criminal record. In his interview with Ontario police, Orban said he had taken two medications the morning of the attack, Zoloft and Neurontin, before drinking beer and margaritas with his old high-school friend, Jelinek.
5:46 p.m. CDT, April 8, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. (WCJB) — A sergeant with the Durham Police Department has been accused of kidnapping and sexual assault while on duty. Media sources reported Sgt. Lester Rhodes was arrested on Friday and charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual offense against a male. The incident is alleged to have occurred on Sunday while Rhodes was on duty. Police said they began their investigation after receiving a complaint.
Police did not release any other information as the investigation is ongoing. Rhodes (Durham Police booking photos of Rhodes, pictured above, center.) who joined the department in 1996, was placed on administrative leave with pay. He was given a $1.25 million bond.
Custom & Policy!
April 5, 2011
WESTMINSTER, CA – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was charged Monday with sexually assaulting women in Garden Grove and Long Beach. Miguel Lerma Jr., 31, of Fountain Valley was charged with three felonies, including one of forcible rape, on one woman and one felony count of rape by use of drugs on the other victim. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 32 years in state prison.
Lerma's (pictured left) Monday arraignment was continued to April 18 at the West Justice Center. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Lerma was arrested in March 2011, at his Fountain Valley home after DNA evidence tied him to a 2010 sexual assault in Garden Grove and another about a year earlier in Long Beach, authorities said.
Lerma met a woman while she was out drinking with a friend in Long Beach on Sept. 10, 2009. Over the course of the night, the woman became intoxicated and blacked out, prosecutors said. While she was unconscious, prosecutors say, Lerma raped her. The woman reported a rape, and Lerma was interviewed and submitted a DNA swab as part of the investigation, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting Lerma for the Orange and Los Angeles county incidents.
On Nov. 14, 2010, Lerma is accused of picking up a prostitute and driving her to an industrial area in Garden Grove. The victim became frightened and tried to get out of his vehicle after it was parked, the release said.
Prosecutors say Lerma got out of the car and sexually assaulted and forcibly raped the woman. He is accused of then getting back into his car and fleeing. The victim immediately reported a sexual assault to police. DNA was collected from the examination.
On March 15, 2011, the DNA from the attack on the prostitute was linked to the DNA provided by Lerma in the case of the Long Beach victim, prosecutors said. At the time of the sexual assaults, Lerma was employed as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Garden Grove detectives worked with the Long Beach Police Department and the Internal Affairs Office of Homeland Security in linking the incidents and identifying Lerma as a suspect, officials said. Lerma was placed on administrative leave, Jaime Ruiz, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, previously told the media.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is asked to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at 714-347-8794 or Garden Grove police detective Dave Young at 714-741-5836.
Third Police Officer Investigated for Sexual Assault!
April 4, 2011
More fallout from last week's accusations by a North Side woman that she was sexually assaulted by two policemen. The two are being investigated for two similar incidents. A third officer assigned to the same SUV as the other two has also been suspended in connection with the other alleged assaults. Police sources told media sources that the third officer may have been witness to the other two alleged assaults, has been stripped of police powers and placed on administrative leave. So far, no charges have been filed against the first two officers in last week's alleged assault.
April 1, 2011
Two Chicago police officers are under criminal investigation amid explosive allegations they played strip poker with a young woman and sexually assaulted her in her Far North Side apartment while on duty early Wednesday. At a news conference, an outraged Terry Hillard (pictured above, center) the interim police superintendent, noted he is a father before calling the officers' conduct "inappropriate. You just can't justify it." He referred to the allegations as "heinous criminal activity."
Hillard said at least one of the officers allegedly sexually assaulted the woman. The officers were arrested later Wednesday and questioned at Belmont Area headquarters with legal counsel present before being released without charges. The criminal inquiry continues as investigators collect "evidence and forensics," Hillard said. Cook County prosecutors have been notified about the allegations. In the meantime, the 10-year veterans were relieved of police powers and put on administrative duty, he said.
The alleged sexual assault took place at the woman's Rogers Park apartment, several miles from the Town Hall District, where the two officers were assigned to work patrol duties on the overnight shift. The uniformed officers, driving a marked police SUV, had offered the 22-year-old woman a ride as she walked near Wrigley Field, crying and upset after drinking and arguing with a male friend, according to a police report.
According to the report, the woman said she accepted, and while they were en route to her residence, she had sex with one officer in a passenger seat. At her apartment, the three of them played strip poker, and she again had sex with one of the officers. But she told police she began to feel intimidated and was afraid to refuse their sexual advances, according to the report. She said she pounded on the wall to get her neighbor's attention and later got up and ran screaming out of the apartment. A neighbor saw her and called police about 3 a.m. The woman was treated at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.
Another neighbor contacted by the media said he opened his door after hearing the commotion and saw a naked man running down the hall and another man who may have been wearing a police uniform. Detectives found a cell phone belonging to one of the officers as well as parts of the officers' uniforms in the woman's apartment, according to police sources.
Hillard, a retired superintendent who was appointed to the interim post until Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel names a permanent successor, bristled when asked about reports that the alleged victim was drunk and may have first had consensual sex with one of the officers before the alleged assault. "I'm a father," he said after a pause. "I also used to be a policeman before I retired. … Inappropriate. You can't justify it." At another point, Hillard said whether the woman was drunk "has nothing to do with the case." "If proven true, these officers will fully be held accountable and punished," he said. "I will not tolerate this type of behavior. The Chicago Police Department will not tolerate this type of behavior."
Police Department records show both officers are 38 years old and were hired in 2001. They've worked for at least the last three years in the Town Hall District, which encompasses parts of the Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Uptown neighborhoods. Neither officer has had any cases before the Chicago Police Board, which hears appeals of disciplinary suspensions of six to 30 days as well as cases in which the superintendent moves to fire an officer, according to Max Caproni, its executive director.
This is not the first time a Chicago police officer allegedly committed a sexual assault while on duty. Sgt. John Herman was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for allegedly raping a woman at her South Side apartment in 2004 after giving her a ride home. But in a unanimous decision last month, the Illinois Appellate Court threw out Herman's conviction, saying the alleged victim's crack-cocaine habit as well as inconsistencies in her testimony shed serious doubt on her credibility.
Movie Intermission! Lockdown: Inside Folsom!
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