Los Angeles

LAPD Officers Accused of Sex Assaults Enter Pleas

James Nichols and Luis Valenzuela were charged with sexually assaulting women, often while on duty, prosecutors said

Two former LAPD officers accused of sexually assaulting four women pleaded no contest on Monday and were sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

With their pleas Monday, James Nichols, 46, and Luis Valenzuela, 45, avoided life sentences, prosecutors said.

One of the victims spoke out in court on Monday.

"I've gained a lot of unnecessary hatred for law officers and I've gained so much regret for not being able to fight back," said the woman, identified as Jane Doe #2, at a court hearing in downtown Los Angeles. "I've lost the ability to trust and mostly I lost the privilege of feeling safe.

"It is a sight to see that finally they'll get what they deserve."

Prosecutors said shortly after the former officers became partners, the men began sexually assaulting women at various locations, including in their police vehicle, between December 2008 and March 2011, prosecutors said.

The women were arrested at various times by the officers during narcotics-related offenses, prosecutors said.

Most of the alleged sexual assaults occurred while the officers were on duty, authorities said.

The officers were removed from duty five years ago. Chief Charlie Beck said then they had "disrespect to the badge."

Four victims have sued the city of LA. Three of the cases have been settled.

The judge also ordered Valenzuela and Nichols to register as sex offenders.

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