LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Federal prosecutors are expected to ask a judge today to sentence a former Bell police officer to 10 years behind bars for forcing a female motorist to perform a sex act during a traffic stop.
Feliciano Sanchez, 35, pleaded guilty in July 2009 to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Sanchez admitted that on May 16, 2007, he 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 the plea agreement.
Then-U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien said last year that Sanchez “brutalized a person he had sworn to serve.”
“His conduct eroded public confidence in law enforcement and cast a pall over his former colleagues who obey the law, proudly working to preserve public safety,” O’Brien said then.
Last August, U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank rejected an argument by Sanchez that he was mentally incompetent to be sentenced.
Sentencing was delayed because Sanchez argued that he suffers from a mental condition, leading the judge to order an examination by a psychiatrist.
In reference to the mental evaluation, Fairbank declared that the defendant is “not suffering from mental disease.”
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.
Attorneys for Sanchez are expected to argue today that he be sentenced to 60 months in prison.