A former San Bernardino police officer was jailed Thursday on charges that, while in uniform or carrying his service gun, he forced two prostitutes to perform sex acts on him.
Jose Jesus Perez, 46, of Menifee, was arrested in Denton, Texas, by local police at the request of the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
Perez was indicted by a federal grand jury in Riverside Wednesday on four counts alleging he raped one woman three times and forced another to perform oral sex on him. The indictment was unsealed after Perez’s arrest.
He committed the alleged crimes “while acting under color of law,” according to the indictment.
“The charges in this case describe disgraceful abuses of police authority that simply cannot be tolerated in our society,” said U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. in a statement.
The San Bernardino Police Department had “promptly” referred the case to federal authorities, Birotte said.
Perez was hired as a Los Angeles Police Department officer in 1997, and left to join the San Bernardino department in 2008, according to an affidavit in the case.
He was “released” from employment in San Bernardino in December 2012, according to the news release.
In San Bernardino, he wanted to join the vice division, and he “informally trained and advised other officers on how to investigate prostitution and interact with prostitutes,” states the affidavit, which was written by FBI Special Agent Heng K. Liv.
In one incident described in the affidavit, Perez asked a prostitute to walk behind a fast-food restaurant and show him her breasts. He asked for her phone number and began sending her sexually explicit text messages, the affidavit states. Another night, behind a market, he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him in a patrol car.
Perez allegedly raped the other woman in a vacant field after, on a previous occasion, asking for her phone number while on patrol and making sexually explicit phone calls to her.
Perez and the second woman had repeated interactions in which he allegedly forced himself on her, Liv wrote.
At one point, when she objected, Perez allegedly told the woman, “I can do anything I want.”
In an interview with San Bernardino police detectives who were investigating the alleged crimes, Perez admitted he had had sex with the second prostitute, but he said the relationship was consensual, according to the affidavit.
Perez is slated to make an initial court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas.