March 1, 2013
A California police officer has been fired and arrested following allegations that he raped at least six women while in uniform and on duty, some of them in his patrol car.
Sergio Alvarez, a five-year veteran of the West Sacramento Police Department, stands accused of raping at least six women since October 2011. He faces kidnapping and sexual assault charges in connection with the alleged attacks. According to ABC News 10, bail has been set at $26.3 million.
The 37-year-old Alvarez allegedly attacked the women while driving in his patrol car. His alleged victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 47, were stopped while walking, according to West Sacramento Police Chief Dan Drummond. The chief added that some of the alleged rapes occurred in the patrol car.
Suspicions about Alvarez arose last September after a 37-year-old woman came forward with allegations that she was attacked by the officer. He was placed on administrative leave following the report.
“I am just appalled and sickened that someone that was put in the position of trust would violate that trust in such an egregious manner,” Drummond told WPTV. “The whole department is appalled.”
As a result of the alleged rapes, the department is reviewing its practices and may no longer allow officers to patrol by themselves at night.
“We are looking at our procedures and the way we are accountable to each other,” Drummond told WPTV. “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure this does not happen again.”
It has happened before, but not in West Sacramento. In recent weeks, the following are among the alleged incidents that have made headlines around the nation:
- In Massachusetts, Lawrence police officer Carlos Gonzalez, 48, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with committing a sexual crime against an underage girl while on vacation in Haines City, Florida last summer.
- Last month, Ashokie, North Carolina police Lieutenant Andres Snape, Jr. was arrested and charged with rape and other sex crimes in connection with an alleged attack on a teenage girl aged between 13 and 15.
- Also last month, veteran Boston, Massachusetts officer Henderson Parker, 45, was arrested and charged with raping and indecently assaulting a woman in a residence.