Former San Bernardino Police Officer, a Resident of Menifee, Faces Federal Charges of Forcing Prostitutes to Have Sex

A Menifee resident and former San Bernardino Police Department officer was arrested today after being indicted Wednesday on federal civil ri...

A Menifee resident and former San Bernardino Police Department officer was arrested today after being indicted Wednesday on federal civil rights charges for allegedly forcing two prostitutes to perform sex acts while he was in uniform and/or carrying a gun.

Jose Jesus Perez, 46, was arrested in Denton, Texas, at the request of the FBI, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. No information about Perez's reasons for traveling there from his home in Menifee was given.

A federal grand jury in Riverside Wednesday indicted Perez on four civil rights counts, alleging that he forcibly had sex with two women who told investigators they engaged in sex acts demanded by Perez only because they feared for their safety. Perez is expected to make his initial court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas.

Each of the four counts in the indictment carry a statutory maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

According to the news release, 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. He was released from employment by SBPD in December.

The indictment alleges that on April 25, 2011, Perez groped a woman and caused her to perform oral sex by using force against her. The report states that the attack injured the victim, involved the use of Perez's service pistol, and resulted in kidnapping of the victim.

The other three counts in the indictment charge Perez with unlawfully having sexual intercourse with a woman on three occasions in August and September of 2011. A criminal complaint filed last month and unsealed today alleges that the victim "feared that if she refused Perez's sexual advances, he could and would make her life difficult."

"Mr. Perez allegedly violated the civil rights of victims he vowed to protect, instead of gaining their trust and providing them with the basic respect all members of a community deserve," said Bill L. Lewis, assistant director of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. "By his alleged actions, Mr. Perez also violated the trust of his fellow officers and the community he swore to serve as a police officer in the city of San Bernardino. The FBI values its relationship with partnering local police and appreciates the support provided by the San Bernardino Police Department in this case."

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