LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela & James Nichols arrested for sexual assault

LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela & James Nichols of the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department were charged with the repeated sexual assault of four women. The alleged assaults frequently took place while the pair was on duty.

In December of 2008, it is alleged that LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela & James Nichols began to sexually assault women in numerous locations throughout their assigned beat, sometimes even in the back of their patrol car. The assaults continued until March of 2011, according to prosecutors. The four female victims (ages 19, 24, 25, and 34 at the time the assaults occurred) were repeatedly arrested by the two LAPD officers for various narcotics offenses.

LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols were relieved of duty in 2013. Nichols is a 15-year veteran of the police department, while Valenzuela has been an officer for 18 years.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Valenzuela and Nichols have entered not guilty pleas.  If convicted, both men could face life in state prison.

Sex Assault by Police
When a criminal sexually assaults an innocent human being, it’s a terrible crime. The crime is made all the more horrific when it is perpetrated by someone whom the public relies upon for protection, such as a police officer. Yet Valenzuela and Nichols are not the first police officers to have committed sexual assault on duty.

Police Sex AssaultsIn 2011, two Chicago police officers were accused of sexually assaulting a 22-year-old woman. The Associated Press launched a yearlong investigation of sexual misconduct on the part of law enforcement officials and found that more than 1,000 police officers nationwide had been decertified for committing sexual assault while on duty. That figure didn’t even include states such as California or New York, which have no systems in place to decertify officers for such crimes. Some states reported no incidents of sexual misconduct on the part of their officers even despite news and court reports to the contrary.

A police officer’s job is to protect and serve the public. When an officer breaches that trust and commits a sexual offense against an individual or a member of their family, they are within their rights to hold that officer accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Contact Estey Bomberger for Representation and Compensation
In cases involving sexual assault by police officers, citizens may be entitled to fair compensation for the unspeakable act perpetrated against them by the authorities. The law firm of Estey Bomberger, based in San Diego, offers California residents the legal representation they need. Our firm has obtained many seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements. Our attorneys have represented numerous sexual assault victims and have the financial and expert resources necessary to win in court.

If you or someone you care about has been sexually assaulted by an LAPD officer or a law enforcement official elsewhere in California, get in touch with the law firm at Estey Bomberger. We’ll provide you with a free and discreet legal consultation.