Society

Two LAPD Officers Charged With Rape

| by Brendan Kelly
James Nichols and Luis ValenzuelaJames Nichols and Luis Valenzuela

Two Los Angeles police officers have been charged with multiple counts of rape.

James Nichols, 44, and Luis Valenzuela, 43, are accused of the sexual assault of four women between 2008 and 2011.

The two officers are veterans of the Los Angeles Police Department, each with at least 15 years of experience on the force.

Nichols, who worked for the LAPD for 15 years, was held on a $3.835 million bond while Valenzuela, a veteran of 18 years, was held on a $3.765 million bond, the Daily Mail reports.

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The charges against the officers include forcible rape, rape under color of authority, oral copulation, oral copulation by force and oral copulation under color of authority, according to the LAPD.

“I will say again, any officer that abuses the public’s trust is not welcome in the LAPD and we will continue vigorously investigating officers accused of alleged crimes and cooperate fully with the District Attorney’s office,” LAPD chief Charlie Beck said in a statement.

Both officers are facing life in prison if found guilty of the charges against them, which they strongly deny.

According to a federal court filing, a 19-year-old woman, who was working as a drug informant at the time, was forced to perform oral sex on one of the officers in the back of the police car while his partner kept a lookout in the front seat.

The young woman said she was told by the officers, “You have to do what the police tell you to do.”

Another woman accused Nichols and Valenzuela of forcing her to have sex with them two times and threatening her with jail time if she did not comply. Two other women had similar stories about the officers.

The victims were ages 19, 24, 25, and 34 at the time of the alleged sexual assaults. The majority of the incidents took place while the officers were on duty.

“These two officers have disgraced themselves, they disgraced this badge, they disgraced their oaths of office,” Beck said. “It’s a violation of public trust.”

Sources: Washington PostDaily Mail / Photo credit: KTLA

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