A Los Alamitos man was charged Friday with several felonies after allegedly posing as an undercover police officer and kidnapping a woman he met online to commit a sexual offense, prosecutors said.
Sean Michael Vasquez, 35, faces four felony counts: kidnapping to commit a sex offense; false imprisonment by violence, fraud or deceit; forcible oral copulation; and assault with intent to commit sexual offense, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
He also was charged with impersonating a police officer, a misdemeanor offense, and faced a sentencing allegation that the kidnapping resulted in a substantial increase in harm to the victim, the release stated.
Vasquez, who is being held on $1 million bail, could receive a maximum sentence of 31 years to life in prison if convicted on the charges.
The incident began on May 13, when the defendant — going by the name “Alex” — allegedly posed as a modeling agent online, where he met the 22-year-old victim and communicated with her through a series of text messages over several weeks, according to prosecutors.
He is accused of setting up a “role play” date with the victim where the woman would pretend to be a prostitute and meet him in an Anaheim parking lot, the release stated.
When they met at the location, Vasquez allegedly flashed a badge and told the woman he was an undercover police officer. He is then suspected of driving the victim to the parking lot of a self-storage facility, where he handcuffed her, prosecutors said.
Vasquez then placed the victim in the backseat and got her driver’s license. Meanwhile, he also sent her texts as “Alex” in an effort to continue the “charade,” the release stated.
He got into the back seat, locked the door and allegedly demanded the victim “orally copulate him to ‘fix’ her legal problem,” prosecutors said.
When she refused, Vasquez is accused of kidnapping the victim, driving her to areas in Santa Ana known for prostitution and demanded that she rob potential johns.
When she was unable to do so, he allegedly drove her to a secluded location in a residential neighborhood and forced her to orally copulate him; he then drove the victim back to her vehicle, according to the DA’s office.
She then reported the incident to the Anaheim Police Department, which began an investigation into the case.
Police said the accusations against Vasquez should serve as a lesson to the public.
“I think a real important thing to understand is that a police officer is not going to meet with you individually like that, they are not going to take you into a vehicle they will always have another person with them even in an undercover capacity,” Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt told KTLA. “Look at their identification.”
Investigators are concerned that Vasquez may have had other additional victims, and they are asking for the public’s help to identify any other possible ones.
Anyone with additional information, or who believes they may have been a victim, is urged to contact Supervising Investigator Eric Wiseman of the Sexual Assault Unit at 714-347-8794.