LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Two Los Angeles police officers are being investigated for allegedly coercing sex from women under threat of being jailed, court records show.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday a search warrant it obtained states internal affairs investigators suspect officers Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols forced at least four women they had arrested previously or worked for them as informants to perform sex acts on them over a period of five years. The newspaper said the officers allegedly would drive the women to secluded areas in an unmarked police car.
Investigators confronted the officers, who until recently worked in narcotics in the Hollywood division, Thursday after one of the women filed a lawsuit against the pair. Police said the officers' computers and phones were seized.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he was "saddened by the allegations. If they are true, it would be horrific," he said.
The head of the internal affairs group told the Times Valenzuela, a 15-year department veteran, and Nichols, a 12-year veteran, were expected to be assigned to their homes until the investigation is wrapped up. The officers could not be reached for comment, the newspaper said.