Los Angeles

Nearly $2 Million Settlement Approved for Woman Raped by LAPD Officers

The City Council unanimously approved a nearly $2 million settlement Tuesday for a woman who was sexually assaulted by two Los Angeles police officers in the back of a squad car.

The woman -- identified in her lawsuit as Jane Doe No. 3 -- is among at least four women who accused the two officers of assaulting them.

Three of the women previously received settlements of $750,000, $575,000 and $450,000. The two officers, Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols, were charged in 2016 with raping and sexually assaulting several women while on duty. They pleaded no contest to multiple charges last year and both were sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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County prosecutors said the two officers worked together to prey on women from 2008 to 2011. The officers allegedly abused some in the back seat of their unmarked police car and threatened their victims with arrest if they did not do as they said. According to Jane Doe No. 3's lawsuit, in December 2009, Nichols and Valenzuela raped her twice, both times in an LAPD vehicle, and while the officers were on duty.

The lawsuit also said the victim was "terrified" of the officers because they worked her neighborhood and warned her to "keep quiet," and she believed they would retaliate against her if she went public with the alleged assault.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the settlement.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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