(LOS ANGELES) — Two Los Angeles Police Department officers were charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting four women while on-duty, the LAPD announced in a statement.
The charges stem from “complaints against two officers who were accused of sexually assaulting the victims several years prior,” the statement said.
Officers James Nichols, a 15-year LAPD veteran, and Officer Luis Valenzuela, an 18-year LAPD veteran, will be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
According to the LAPD, Nichols and Valenzuela were charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, forcible rape, rape under color of authority, oral copulation, oral copulation under color of authority and oral copulation by force.
Valenzuela was also charged with one count of assault with a firearm. Both officers were previously relieved from duty, and the LAPD is continuing its criminal and administrative investigation, according to the statement.
According to a statement released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the officers allegedly “began sexually assaulting women at various locations, including in their police vehicle” from December 2008 to March 2011.
The D.A.’s Office adds that all four women were arrested at various times by the officers during narcotics-related offenses.
“I will say again, any officer that abuses the public’s trust is not welcome in the LAPD and we will continue vigorously investigating officers accused of alleged crimes and cooperate fully with the District Attorney’s office,” Chief Charlie Beck said.
In 2014, The Los Angeles Times reported that Nichols’ attorney, Robert Rico, said the accusers “had no credibility.” Information about a lawyer for Valenzuela was not immediately available.
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