Former San Bernardino Police Officer Found Guilty on Federal Civil Rights Charges Stemming from Sexual Assaults of Prostitutes
RIVERSIDE, CA—A former officer with the San Bernardino Police Department was convicted today of federal civil rights charges for forcing two prostitutes to perform sex acts while he was in uniform.
Jose Jesus Perez, 46, of Menifee, was found guilty this morning of two felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law for sexually assaulting two victims in 2011. The jury determined that both offenses involved aggravated sexual abuse and that one attack involved a kidnapping and bodily injury.
Perez is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips on August 18, at which time he faces a potential sentence of life in federal prison.
Perez has been in custody since he was arrested last September in Texas. The arrest was the result of a federal grand jury indictment that alleged Perez forcibly had sex with two women who told investigators that they engaged in the sex acts demanded by Perez out of fear because he was a police officer.
The evidence presented during a week-long trial showed that Perez groped a woman and caused her to perform oral sex by using force against her on April 25, 2011.
The jury also found that Perez had unlawful sexual intercourse with another woman on two occasions in August 2011.
The two victims testified about Perez forcing them to have sex in vehicles and hotel rooms. A third woman testified that Perez had aggressively solicited sex from her while he was in uniform. The three women each testified that they feared repercussions if they did not comply with Perez’s demands.
The jury in the case also convicted Perez of one misdemeanor civil rights offense related to the second time he demanded sex from the second victim in August 2011. Additionally, Perez was acquitted of one misdemeanor offense related to allegations that he forced the second woman to have sex in September 2011.
Perez became a police officer in 1997, when he was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department. Perez worked for the LAPD until 2008, when he went to work for the San Bernardino Police Department. Perez was released from employment by SBPD in December 2012.
The investigation into Perez was conducted by the San Bernardino Police Department and the FBI.