A former special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) from Riverside was sentenced to life in federal prison for sexually assaulting two women and using his law enforcement position to prevent them from reporting his violent crimes, authorities announced Monday.
The former federal agent, 48-year-old John Jacob Olivas, started his government career in 2007, working in Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He later moved to HSI but resigned in 2015 after working for the agency for just over six years, according to a news release from the United States Department of Justice.
Authorities said Olivas sexually assaulted the two victims while he was a federal agent.
In Jan. 2012, the 48-year-old attempted to rape a woman, telling her that police would not respond to any reports she made because he was “above a cop,” “untouchable” and “invisible” as a federal agent, the release stated. He also threatened the victim, telling her that he could make her “disappear” and “have her children taken from her, and get her arrested on fake criminal charges.”
Olivas raped another woman in Sept. and again in Nov. 2012, authorities said.
That victim also testified that Olivas told her that he was “invincible to the criminal justice system,” and he “pointed” his government issued firearm “into her back moments before he sexually assaulted her,” according to the release.
“Both victims endured Olivas violent, escalating, controlling, intimidating behavior, which included his repeated brandishing of HSI credentials to (them) and asserting that he was above the law,” the news release stated.
Olivas’ sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal, who said the former federal agent engaged in “systemic torture of women” that would cause his victims lifelong trauma.
United States Attorney from the Central District of California Martin Estrada echoed the judge’s statement.
“Olivas is a sexual predator who willfully abused his power as a federal agent to torment his victims, causing them physical, emotional and psychological pain,” Estrada said in the release. “Those who abuse power as public officials must be held accountable. We hope the sentence imposed in this civil rights case eases the victims’ anguish and reminds would-be offenders that there is a stiff penalty for law enforcement officials who violate their vow to enforce and uphold the law.”
The 48-year-old was also found guilty in Dec. 2022 of three counts of deprivation of rights under the color of law.
Olivas was taken into federal custody at the conclusion of the 11-day trial.