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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

LAPD officers sentenced to 25 years for sexual assaults

There is good reason for people to fear being arrested on drug charges in Van Nuys. California's penalties for drug crime convictions are harsh.

Those harsh penalties were used in threats made by two Los Angeles police officers against women who the men sexually assaulted. The officers threatened to arrest the women on drug charges, knowing that their victims would fear possible prison time if they were charged with possession, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs.

The two LAPD officers recently pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting multiple women in their unmarked police car. The two were each sentenced to 25-year terms in state prison.

News media coverage of their case stated that the men targeted women from 2008 to 2011, forcing them to have sex under threat of arrest on drug charges.

The LA Times stated it this way: "The victims were women ages 19 to 34 who were informants for drug investigators or had been recently arrested on suspicion of drug-related crimes."

The first woman to make a formal accusation against the officers said she was an informant back in 2008 when she was picked up. She was apparently paid $40 to make drug buys.

Another woman said that after her heroin-trafficking arrest in 2008, the two officers drove her to the LAPD jail in Van Nuys. On the way, they pulled their unmarked car into an alley and told her that there was a way for her to avoid prison: by having sex with one of the officers.

"I was in a dark alleyway with a guy with a gun," she said in court. "I didn't really feel like I had a choice."

A third woman apparently had sex with the officers because they offered to drop drug charges against her.

As noted, the two men will each spend 25 years in prison for their violent crimes.

Those who face drug charges can protect their rights and freedom with the help of a skilled attorney experienced in drug crime defense.

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