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Sunday, December 26, 2010

California - Former Bell Cop Gets Nine Years in Prison for Forcing Motorist Into Sex Act...

Deprivation of Rights Under Color of  LAW, which involved "depriving a woman of her constitutional rights."

A former Bell police officer was sentenced Thursday to nine years behind bars for forcing a female motorist to perform a sex act during a traffic stop.
Feliciano Sanchez, now 35, pleaded guilty in July 2009 to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.
Sanchez stopped the victim -- identified in court papers only by the initials R.H. -- for a supposed traffic violation and took her in his patrol car to a remote location, where he placed his hand on his duty weapon and forced her to perform oral sex, according to court papers.
Before the sentence was imposed, Sanchez pleaded with U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank for mercy, saying the woman lied and the May 16, 2007, incident was really part of a "sinful adulterous affair."
The victim -- who attended the proceedings and addressed the court -- framed him in order to help her chances of winning a $1 million lawsuit against the city of Bell, Sanchez said.
"I forgive you ... your sinful actions of bringing false witness," the defendant told her. "You have imprisoned an innocent man."
Fairbank, though, said the evidence clearly showed Sanchez committed a crime that reflected "serious ... predatory conduct," which involved "depriving a woman of her constitutional rights."
In addition, the judge said, Sanchez showed no remorse and "his denial of the offense (is) not credible."
U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said prosecutors had asked that Sanchez be sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison "after considering the egregiousness of the assault, the incalculable pain and suffering Mr. Sanchez caused the victim, and the damage to the honor of the thousands of men and women in law enforcement who serve us every day."
Birotte said Sanchez "violated his oath to serve and protect the community by committing a crime that was particularly offensive, dehumanizing and harmful."
As Sanchez sat staring at her, the woman told the court in Spanish that she suffers sleep deprivation and depression as a result of her ordeal.
"He knows what happened," she said. "He knows he's not the victim. I don't need to be forgiven by a person who did a lot of harm to me."
In August, Fairbank rejected an argument by Sanchez that he was mentally unfit to be sentenced.
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles indicted Sanchez in 2008 on one count each of deprivation of rights under color of law and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.
After a federal jury failed to reach a unanimous decision, Sanchez pleaded guilty before the case could go to trial for a second time.
After he gets out of prison, Sanchez must serve three years of supervised release, including 20 hours per week of community service, the judge said.