Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, two narcotics officers in the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, are currently under investigation for allegedly using their badges to lure women into unmarked cars and forcing them to perform sex acts.
According to a search warrant found by the LA Times, the victims are four women the pair had previously arrested and/or worked for them as informants. The charming duo threatened jail time unless the women had sex with one of them while they other kept watch. Jesus.
The first woman to accuse Valenzuela and Nichols came forward in January 2010, when the officers threatened to take her to jail if she didn't touch one of them in the backseat of their unmarked car. The investigation went nowhere when the detective assigned to the case was unable to locate the woman, according to the warrant.
A year later, however, another woman demanded to speak to a supervisor after being arrested and taken to the LAPD's Hollywood station. Sometime in late 2009, according to the warrant, two officers driving a Jetta pulled up alongside her as she was walking her dog in Hollywood. The officers, whom she recognized as the same cops who had arrested her in a previous encounter, ordered her into the car, the woman recounted. It is not known why she was arrested.
Believing that the officers were investigating a case, the woman said she felt compelled to comply. Valenzuela then got into the back seat with the woman and handed her dog to Nichols, who drove the car a short distance to a more secluded area. "Why don't you cut out that tough girl crap," the woman recounted Valenzuela saying as he "unzipped his pants and forced [her] head down toward his lap and physically held her head down" as he forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to police records contained in the warrant.
The woman said she didn't report the incident immediately because she felt humiliated, thought no one would believe her and feared for her safety. Police noted that the woman displayed erratic behavior while recounting the events. Later, she made violent threats while in custody and was transported to a hospital.
Uh, no shit, the woman was clearly traumatized.
The department reopened the case and was able to locate the woman who had come forward the year before. She, too, gave a statement, saying she had refused Valenzuela's commands to fondle him.
Then, there was very little movement on the case for 18 months. Yes, EIGHTEEN MONTHS. However, something was clearly afoot, as the officers were transferred and reassigned.
The case picked up steam again in July of last year when a member of the neighborhood watch for Echo Park said he'd been told by a prostitute that patrol officers in the area were picking up prostitutes and letting them go in exchange for oral sex. Sounds familiar? An investor at the LAPD thought it did, and two months later, the investigator identified another two women who reported encounters in which Nichols and Valenzuela had sought sexual favors in exchange for leniency, all the while threatening jail time for noncompliance in their sick scheme.
According to the LA Times, Valenzuela, a 15-year department veteran, and Nichols, a 12-year veteran, were expected to be assigned to their homes pending the outcome of the probe, and could not be reached for comment. Surprise.