|For Immediate Release
Case # 07CF3769
December 19, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ON-DUTY COP CONVICTED OF FALSELY IMPRISONING PROSTITUTES TO SEXUALLY TOUCH AND PHOTOGRAPH THEM UNDER GUISE OF OFFICIAL POLICE WORK
SANTA ANA – An on-duty Orange County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Orange County Transportation Authority was convicted today of falsely imprisoning prostitutes in order to sexually touch and photograph them under the guise of official police business. Richard Rodriguez, 44, Chino, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. He was sentenced to one year and four months in state prison.
Between Nov. 1, 2005 and March 2, 2007, Rodriguez approached prostitutes who were loitering on Harbor Boulevard. He was on-duty, in uniform, and driving a marked patrol car. He told the women that he had to “run” them in his system to determine their identities and instructed them to get into his patrol car. Three of the victims were handcuffed. Once detained and alone with the defendant, the women were driven to the back of buildings in Garden Grove, where Rodriguez either sexually touched the victims or photographed them in various sexual positions and poses. The defendant threatened to arrest the women and take them to jail for prostitution if they did not comply, and said he would release them if they allowed the touching or photographs. On one occasion, Rodriguez returned off-duty a few days after “running” one of the victims and paid her $50 in exchange for oral copulation.
Deputy District Attorney Andre Manssourian of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted this case.