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Cops Charged With Raping Women While On Duty

Two LAPD officers are facing life in prison
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2016 5:43 PM CST
Cops Charged With Raping Women While On Duty
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two Los Angeles police officers are facing life in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting four women multiple times while on duty in Hollywood, NBC Los Angeles reports. According to the Los Angeles Times, James Nichols, 44, and Luis Valenzuela, 43, were charged Tuesday with multiple crimes, include rape. The alleged sexual assaults started in 2008 when Nichols and Valenzuela became partners and continued into 2011. The pair have been under investigation since at least 2013. The Los Angeles Police Department says both officers have been removed from duty.

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All four of the victims—ranging in age from 19 to 35 at the time of the assaults—were arrested multiple times by Nichols and Valenzuela on suspicion of narcotics-related offenses. CBS News reports the officers would allegedly threaten further arrests if the women didn't have sex with them. Charging documents say the sexual assaults mostly happened while Nichols and Valenzuela were on duty and sometimes took place in their police vehicle. On at least one occasion, the officers allegedly restrained one of the victims during an assault. And Valenzuela has been charged with pointing a gun at one of the women. The officers are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday and will likely be held on more than $3 million bail. (Read more police misconduct stories.)

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