RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A former officer with the San Bernardino Police Department accused of forcing two prostitutes to perform sex acts while he was in uniform and/or carrying a gun was arrested today following his indictment on multiple felony charges.
Forty-six-year-old Jose Jesus Perez, of Menifee, was arrested without incident today in Denton, Texas by officers with the Denton Police Department at the request of the FBI, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
“The charges in this case describe disgraceful abuses of police authority that simply cannot be tolerated in our society,” United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. said.
“The San Bernardino Police Department understands that this type of conduct deserves sure and swift action, and I thank them for promptly referring the matter to us and working with us to obtain this indictment. We are committed to ensuring that the public is lawfully served by its peace officers.”
A federal grand jury in Riverside Wednesday returned under seal a four-countindictment that named Perez, who worked for the LAPD between 1997 to 2008 and continued employment with the SBPD until his release in December.
The indictment, which was unsealed following Perez’s arrest, alleges that he forcibly had sex with two women who told investigators that they engaged in the sex acts demanded by Perez only because they feared for their well-being because he was a police officer.
“Mr. Perez allegedly violated the civil rights of victims he vowed to protect, instead of gaining their trust and providing them with the basic respect all members of a community deserve,” Bill L. Lewis, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said, adding in part, “By his alleged actions, Mr. Perez also violated the trust of his fellow officers and the community he swore to serve as a police officer in the city of San Bernardino.”
The indictment alleges that on April 25, 2011, Perez groped a woman and caused her to perform oral sex by using force against her. According to the indictment, the attack resulted in bodily injury to the victim, constituted aggravated sexual abuse, involved the use of a dangerous weapon (Perez’s service weapon), and resulted in the kidnapping of the victim.
The remaining three counts in the indictment charge Perez with unlawfully having sexual intercourse with a woman on three occasions in August and September 2011.
According to a criminal complaint filed last month and also unsealed today, this victim “feared that if she refused Perez’s sexual advances he could and would make her life difficult.”
She told investigators that she believed she would experience “problems” if he did not cooperate with Perez’s requests, according to the complaint.
Perez is expected to make his initial court appearance Friday in United States District Court in Sherman, Texas.
If found guilty, he will face a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison for each of the four counts.