LA County deputy accused of rape held on nearly $1.5M bail


Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, 28, faces 11 felony counts including sexual penetration under the color of authority, rape under fear or duress, and soliciting a bribe. His arraignment on Wednesday was postponed.

Sanchez was arrested Monday after a six-month investigation into an incident on Sept. 22, 2010, in which he allegedly attempted to solicit a bribe and then raped a victim. He had since been relieved of duty with pay.

"He had her get into the back of the marked sheriff's vehicle, took her to the middle of the desert, where he raped her. He brought her back to her own vehicle, and then followed her home," said John Taylor, the victim's attorney.

Two nights later, he allegedly pulled over another woman on suspicion of driving under the influence and allegedly solicited a bribe in the form of sexual activity, according to the District Attorney's Office.

After his arrest, the deputy was relieved of duty without pay.

The sex crimes involve one victim, but investigators believe Sanchez tried to bribe others while on the job. Attorneys are asking any more possible victims to come forward.

The sheriff's department has not released where the alleged incidents occurred. Sanchez was first hired to work in the jails and later moved to patrol in Palmdale.

Sanchez is due back in court Aug. 7. If convicted, he could be sentenced up to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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