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L.A. County Deputy Indicted in Sex Case

August 26, 2004|David Rosenzweig | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was indicted Wednesday on charges of forcing three women in his custody to have sex with him, and with fondling the breasts of another woman, also while on duty.

Gabriel Gonzalez, 36, was named in a five-count federal indictment accusing him of violating the women's civil rights while he was on patrol duty in Compton.

Gonzalez has been assigned to his home with pay since January 2003, when the first woman came forward with allegations, triggering a sheriff's investigation.

The case was subsequently turned over to the U.S. attorney's office for prosecution.

A Sheriff's Department spokesman said Wednesday that Gonzalez was not under arrest and that he would be allowed to turn himself in at a court hearing sometime in September.

Wednesday's indictment contained scant details about the circumstances of the alleged incidents, but said they occurred between March 2002 and January 2003 and involved women who were in Gonzalez's custody.

The deputy was accused of using unspecified force and threats of serious bodily harm to compel three of the women to engage in sexual conduct. He allegedly had sex with one of the women twice, the incidents two months apart.

Now that he has been indicted, Gonzalez will be suspended without pay, according to the Sheriff's Department spokesman.

Gonzalez, who joined the department in 1996, was assigned to the Compton station in 2000.

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