A former Inland Empire law enforcement officer who used his authority to compel prostitutes to provide him with sexual favors was convicted Wednesday of federal charges.
Jose Jesus Perez, 46, of Menifee could face life in prison when he's sentenced Aug. 18 by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips.
Following a weeklong trial, a Riverside jury found Perez guilty of two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law, as well as sentence-enhancing allegations that the offenses involved aggravated sexual abuse, kidnapping and great bodily injury.
Jurors acquitted Perez of a related misdemeanor.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the defendant coerced three prostitutes to perform sex acts while he was on duty with the San Bernardino Police Department. Perez was fired from the agency in December 2012, and about eight months later, was indicted by a federal grand jury.
In April 2011, Perez forced a woman to perform oral sex on him while he groped her, according to prosecutors. The assault happened in the defendant's patrol car, while Perez was in uniform and armed, according to the indictment.
A second prostitute alleged that she had several encounters with the defendant in August 2011. According to court papers, the then-policeman demanded that she have sex with him, emphasizing that he would make her life difficult otherwise. She complied, accompanying Perez to a motel.
A third woman told investigators that the defendant repeatedly harassed her while he was on duty, insisting that she have intercourse with him.
"The three women each testified that they feared repercussions if they did not comply with Perez's demands," according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement.
Perez transferred to the San Bernardino Police Department in 2008, following an 11-year career with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The FBI and SBPD jointly investigated the case.
– City News Service.