|For Immediate Release
Case # 07CF3769
November 15, 2007
ON-DUTY COP CHARGED WITH FALSELY IMPRISONING AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING PROSTITUTES UNDER GUISE OF OFFICIAL POLICE WORK
SANTA ANA –An on-duty Sheriff’s Deputy with the Orange County Transportation Authority has been charged with falsely imprisoning and sexually assaulting prostitutes under the guise of official police business. Richard Rodriguez, 43, Chino, is charged with five felony counts of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit, three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, and one misdemeanor count of engaging in acts of prostitution. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years and eight months in prison. Rodriguez is being held on $500,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned Monday, November 19, 2007 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
Between November 1, 2005 and March 2, 2007, Rodriguez is accused of approaching prostitutes, who were loitering on Harbor Boulevard, while on-duty, in uniform, and driving a marked patrol car. He is accused of telling the victims that he had to “run” them in the system to determine their identities and instructing them to get into his patrol car. He is accused of handcuffing three victims. Once detained, the defendant is accused driving the victims to the back of buildings in Garden Grove, where he is accused of either sexually touching the victims or photographing them in various sexual positions and poses. Rodriguez is also accused of returning off-duty a few days after “running” one of the victims and paying her $50 for oral copulation.
Deputy District Attorney Andre Manssourian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.