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Two LAPD Officers Investigated For Rape

Sara Newman |
November 6, 2013 | 8:11 p.m. PST

Executive Producer


Cops are under investigation this time (Chris Yarzab, Creative Commons)
Cops are under investigation this time (Chris Yarzab, Creative Commons)
Little boys grow up with dreams of becoming policemen in order to be real-life heroes who fight the bad guys. So what happens when policemen become the bad guys? 

As a few women have learned in recent years, when police officers decide to abuse their power, it becomes a very scary thing. 

Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, two officers of the Los Angles Police Department are currently under investigation for the reportedly exploiting their power to rape at least four women over the past few years. 

A search warrant affidavit related that between November 2008 and July 2012, the men used threats of arrest to pressure women into performing sex acts in with them in their patrol car when they worked together as narcotics officers.

After serving a combined 28 years on the force, the two long-time officers were initially suspended without pay when the claims of sexual abuse and professional misconduct. Now the fate of the men’s jobs is to be determined by a disciplinary panel, as they have been ordered to attend disciplinary hearings, where the fate of their jobs will be determined. 

Allegedly, after getting the women into their car under the premise of a possible arrest, sometimes they would drive the women to isolated areas where one officer would sexually assault the women while the other officer played lookout. 

Investigators also reported claims from local prostitutes that the patrol officers offering them the choice between sex and arrest.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, Nichols’s attorney, Robert Rico, claims that he is innocent of wrongdoing, while Valenzuela remained unreachable. 

Rico claims that the women making the allegations "have no credibility."

Even if children grow up being told that prostitutes are bad and cops are the good guys, this case that sometimes the truth might be a bit more complicated. 

Contact Executive Producer Sara Newman here. Tweet her here.



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