Hollywood Division Officers Allegedly Forced Women to Have Sex

LAPD internal affairs detectives are investigating charges that the officers preyed on at least four women.

Two veteran Los Angeles Police Department officers were under investigation Friday for allegedly forcing women to perform sex acts, according to police.

LAPD internal affairs detectives were investigating charges that Officers Luis Valenzuela, a 15-year veteran, and James Nichols, a 12-year veteran, preyed on at least four women who had worked for them as informants, or whom they had arrested previously, police sources confirmed.

Chief Charlie Beck said he was "saddened by the allegations. If they are true, it would be horrific," Beck told the Los Angeles Times.

Allegations against the officers, who worked together in the Hollywood Division's narcotics detail, date to 2009, according to a search warrant obtained by the Times.

The warrant claims the existence of sexually explicit messages exchanged between the officers and one of the victims, and that the officers threatened the women with jail unless they engaged in sex in the officers' car in secluded areas.

The pair had been the target of an ongoing police investigation, according to the internal affairs division. But after one of the women, Tammy Kim, filed a lawsuit against the city Wednesday, investigators moved quickly to seize the officers' cell phones and computers.

In her lawsuit, first reported by City News Service, Kim alleges assault, battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations against Valenzuela and Nichols for whom she worked as an informant.

When the officers told her she had not given up the names of enough narcotics suspects, Valenzuela "informed her that if (she) slept with him, he would give her additional credits on her next arrest," the suit claims.

Several weeks later, Valenzuela forced the woman to have sex with him in the back seat of his vehicle, threatening her with jail, according to the suit.

Three other women have been identified as having been pressured into sex acts by the officers in exchange for leniency, the Times reported.

It was unclear whether the officers had been re-assigned as the investigation continued.

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