|For Immediate Release
Case # 11WF0759
January 8, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FORMER U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR RAPING TWO WOMEN
SANTA ANA – A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer was convicted today and sentenced to six years in state prison for raping two women. Miguel Lerma Jr., 33, Fountain Valley, pleaded guilty to one felony count of forcible rape for Jane Doe #1 and one felony count of rape of an intoxicated person for Jane Doe #2.
At the time of the sexual assaults, Lerma was employed as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
On Sept. 10, 2009, Lerma met Jane Doe #2 while she was out drinking with a friend in Long Beach. Over the course of the night, Jane Doe #2 became intoxicated due to alcohol and blacked out. While the victim was unconscious from alcohol intoxication, Lerma raped her. She did not know the defendant prior to this evening. The victim later awoke lying in the bushes alone.
Jane Doe #2 reported the rape and Lerma was interviewed and submitted a DNA swab as part of the investigation. The investigation for the rape of Jane Doe #2 was still ongoing and had not been charged in Los Angeles County’s Office as of November 2010.
On Nov. 14, 2010, Lerma picked up prostitute Jane Doe #1, drove her to an industrial area in Garden Grove, and parked the car. The victim, who did not know the defendant, became frightened and tried to get out of the vehicle. Lerma got out of the car and forcibly raped Jane Doe #1. He then got back into his car and fled the scene.
Jane Doe #1 immediately reported the sexual assault to the police. DNA was collected from the rape examination. On March 15, 2011, the DNA from the attack on Jane Doe #1 was linked to the DNA provided by Lerma for the rape of Jane Doe #2.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Lerma for the Orange and Los Angeles County victims. The Garden Grove Police Department and Long Beach Police Department investigated their respective cases.
In addition to six years in state prison, Lerma was also sentenced to lifetime registration, which bars him from entering County recreational areas and City parks which have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance, with exception to Irvine and Fountain Valley. Visit www.orangecountyda.com to read the prior press releases on the County’s Sex Offender Ordinance.