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LAPD Officer Held in Rapes of Four Women : Police: He is accused of threatening to arrest or jail them. He allegedly shot another who was trying to flee his advances.

January 15, 1992|SHERYL STOLBERG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Authorities on Tuesday accused a Los Angeles police officer of being a serial rapist who preyed on at least four women while he was in uniform, threatening to arrest or jail them unless they had sex with him.

Officer Garnier Beasley, 31, was jailed at downtown police headquarters after surrendering to authorities at the Southwest Division station, where he worked as a patrol officer at the time the alleged rapes took place.

Authorities say Beasley, an eight-year veteran, raped four women between May and September last year, and shot a fifth woman who was trying to escape from him in an incident that occurred while he was off duty.

"Essentially," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Gordon, who is prosecuting the case, "you had an officer coming into contact with women in various areas of the city on the street. He spoke to them, took them into custody for various things, including possible warrants, and at locations away from that initial contact he sexually assaulted them."

Gordon said there may be more victims.

The eight-count criminal complaint, filed by the district attorney's office Tuesday afternoon, includes four charges of rape by threat to arrest and two of oral copulation under color of authority. It says that twice Beasley had probationary officers in his patrol car with him as he approached the victims. On those days, Gordon said, Beasley was serving as a training officer.

But the trainees--a male and a female officer whose names were not disclosed--were not charged with any crimes, and prosecutors said there was no indication that they participated in the alleged rapes. In one instance, the probationary officer was left in the patrol car while the alleged rape occurred. Gordon would not elaborate, saying an investigation is continuing.

Beasley also faces one count of assault with a gun in connection with the shooting, which authorities say occurred after he paid a woman $10 to perform a sexual act in an alley. He is also charged with receiving stolen property--a handgun investigators found when they searched his locker at the Southwest station. The handgun had been reported stolen during a robbery in another Police Department division, but Gordon said Beasley is not a suspect in the robbery.

The officer is scheduled to be arraigned today in Municipal Court. If he is convicted on all charges, he could be sentenced to 70 years in state prison.

The accusations against Beasley surfaced on Sept. 23, after a friend of an alleged victim flagged down a patrol car and told the officers that the woman had just been raped by a uniformed patrolman.

The 39-year-old woman later said she had been picked up by Beasley and his trainee partner about 1 p.m. in the southwest part of the city. She told authorities that Beasley handcuffed her and took her to an alley a few blocks away, telling her that he had a warrant for her arrest but that she could avoid going to jail "in exchange for sexual favors."

Gordon said the woman was then driven to a hotel and--while the trainee stayed in the car--Beasley took her to a room and raped her. She was then driven back to the area where she had been picked up, and released.

While the Police Department and the district attorney's office investigated, Beasley was reassigned to desk duty, and was then transferred to "home duty"--a form of paid suspension. An department spokesman said that, in the wake of his arrest, Beasley has been suspended without pay.

The three other alleged rape victims, along with the woman who said she had been shot in the leg by Beasley, came to authorities' attention during the investigation. One of the victims told investigators she was arrested on cocaine charges, handcuffed and taken to the Southwest station by Beasley and his partner, a female probationary officer.

Once outside the station, Gordon said, Beasley unhandcuffed the victim and told the trainee officer to go inside with the drugs they had seized while he took the woman back out to look for "narcotics locations."

Instead, Gordon said, Beasley took the woman to an underground garage, ordered her to take her clothes off, raped her and then released her.

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