Today, two veteran Los Angeles Police Department officers who worked as partners assigned to the Hollywood Division have been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting four women, often while the pair was on duty, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today.
James Nichols, 43, and Luis Valenzuela, 42, are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday. Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $3.83 million for Nichols and $3.76 million for Valenzuela.
Deputy District Attorneys Stephanie Sparagna and Ann Marie Wise with the Justice System Integrity Division are prosecuting the case.
According to prosecutors, the two men allegedly began sexually assaulting women at various locations between 2008 and 2011, including in their police vehicle. All four women were arrested at various times by the officers during narcotics-related offenses.
At the time the alleged assaults occurred, the victims were 19, 24, 25 and 34 years of age. Most, but not all, of the alleged sexual assaults occurred while the officers were on duty.
Nichols and Valenzuela are charged with multiple counts each of sexual assaults, including forcible rape, rape under color of authority, oral copulation under color of authority and oral copulation by force.
In addition, Valenzuela is charged with one count of assault with a firearm for allegedly pointing a gun at one of the victims.
If convicted, Nichols and Valenzuela each face up to life in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.