Corrected at 12:20 p.m: Valenzuela's name is Luis and not, as the lawsuit states, Gus. Headline has changed.
Two cops were off the street this week after a woman filed a lawsuit claiming that they “forced” her to have sex in exchange for her freedom.
The suit says narcotics officers Bill Nichols and
Gus Luis Valenzuela had used the woman, Tammy Kim, as a confidential drug informant but pushed her for sex in exchange for keeping her out of jail. The Los Angeles Times uncovered additional allegations from three others, including more sex-by-force claims.
The paper got a look at a search warrant prepared for the case and found that there are three other accusers besides Kim.
The court filing, first reported by City News Service, says Kim complied with the cops' alleged demands but that the officers didn't keep up their end of the deal. It alleged they even leaked her status as a snitch to the street, endangering her life.
(Kim) lives in fear for her life as she believes … that both officers Nichols and Venenzuela verbally informed suspects that (she) assisted them in the arrests. (She) has received several death threats from these suspects and their agents as a direct result of the officers' actions.
The Times says the pair has been assigned to home while the department continues to investigate. It says the LAPD had planned to confront the two next week but had to accelerate its moves against the cops as a result of the suit and its publicity.
Kim says she had sex with both suspects.
The additional claims reported by the Times include two instances in 2009 and 2010 in which the cops, assigned to the Hollywood Division, were described as driving around in a Volkswagen Jetta, approaching women on the street, and telling them to get in.
One woman alleged, according to the warrant viewed by the Times, that she was put in the backseat of the Jetta as Nichols drove to a secluded area with Valenzuela working alongside him. Valenzuela …
… unzipped his pants and forced [her] head down toward his lap and physically held her head down …
She says she was forced to perform oral sex.
After Nichols was assigned to the Northeast Division (Valenzuela went to Olympic), the department fielded a few complaints of a similar kind — that prostitutes were being picked by cops in Northeast's Echo Park neighborhood and told to have sex or face jail, according to the paper.
After that, apparently, police ended up identifying two more accusers.
According to City News Service the lawsuit by Kim alleges …
… assault, battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.
We reached out to Kim's attorney yesterday more than once but had yet to hear back.
The LAPD had no comment for City News Service, but Chief Charlie Beck told the Times that he was “saddened” to hear the allegations. If they're true, “it would be horrific,” he said.