LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Monterey Park police officer accused of pulling three women over, forcing them to expose themselves and fondling two of them, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 10 felony counts.
Israel Sanchez, 40, is being held on $345,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 21.READ MORE: Magnitude-3.5 Quake Rattles Idyllwild
He was arrested Monday near his home and charged with three counts of false imprisonment, one count of bribery, two counts of assault under color of authority and four counts of sexual battery by restraint, all felonies.
Prosecutors said the crimes happened in less than a three-week period during traffic stops. In two of the instances, he fondled the women.
The incidents happened between July 28 and Aug. 15 in 2014. The victims were between 20 and 28 years old.READ MORE: Huntington Park Police Shoot, Kill Suspect
The investigation started in September 2014. That was when the Monterey Park Police Department asked an outside agency, the Long Beach Police Department, to look into the allegations. On Monday, Sanchez was arrested.
If convicted, Sanchez faces more than eight years in state prison.
A call to the defendant’s attorney for comment has not been returned.MORE NEWS: Residents Call For Change Following Death Of ER Nurse Sandra Shells
Detectives believe there may be more victims and urge them to come forward by calling the Long Beach Police Department Sex Crimes Detail at (562) 570-7368.