LOS ANGELES — Two veteran LAPD officers are under investigation for allegedly forcing women to have sex with them, according to court documents obtained by the L.A. Times.
Officers Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols targeted at least four women whom they had arrested previously or who worked for them as informants, according to a search warrant reviewed by The Times.
The documents allege that the officers lured the women to unmarked cars, drove them to secluded areas and forced them to have sex under the threat of jail.
The alleged attacks took place over a period of five years when Valenzuela and Nichols worked as narcotics officers in the Hollywood Division.
Investigators have identified four women who made similar independent accusations against them.
The warrant cites sexually explicit text messages that one alleged victim claims she exchanged with the officers after their encounters.
Last month, investigators obtained the woman’s cellphone and computers in hopes of finding the messages the officers are alleged to have written.
Investigators had planned to confront the officers in a surprise operation early next week.
However, they were forced to accelerate those plans Thursday, when one of the women unexpectedly filed a lawsuit against the officers.
Fearing that Valenzuela and Nichols might destroy evidence, investigators rushed to sequester the officers and seize their computers and phones, police confirmed.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck emphasized Thursday that the investigation was ongoing, but added that he was “saddened by the allegations. If they are true, it would be horrific,” he said.
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, according to The Times.
Read more at the L.A. Times.