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Anaheim Officer Jailed in Sex Case

A 30-year veteran of the police force is arrested after an undocumented immigrant accuses him of assaulting her while he was on duty.

November 19, 2005|Dave McKibben | Times Staff Writer

A 30-year Anaheim police officer was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexually assaulting an undocumented immigrant while on duty, according to police.

Bradley Wagner, 58, a San Juan Capistrano resident, was arrested Friday morning at the police station after he submitted his retirement papers. He had been on administrative leave since Nov. 11, when the woman complained to police.

The officer was booked on suspicion of kidnapping, lewd acts and sexual battery and is being held at a local jail. Police would not say where. Bail has been set at $1 million.

Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said at a Friday press conference that the matter was an embarrassment to the department and the city.

"This is a very troubling situation," he said. "It damages the trust and relationship we built with the community."

Welter said his department took the charges seriously the moment the woman entered the police station.

"For an undocumented person to come forward and to come to the same department says a lot about her trust in the police and her courage," Welter said. "That's why we moved so quickly with the investigation."

Police declined to elaborate.

Welter said his department was working with U.S. immigration officials to ensure the woman was allowed to stay in the country. Welter said the woman was in her 40s but would not say what country she was from or where she lived.

Amin David, a longtime Latino leader in Anaheim, said he hopes the woman receives proper legal representation.

"It behooves the community to help provide that," David said. "We need to make sure there is a level playing field, so the truth can come out."

Welter said the investigation had not uncovered other victims and that nothing in Wagner's background indicated he would be involved in this type of activity.

The chief said the case would be submitted Monday to the district attorney's office, which will determine whether to charge him.

Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, director of the Eli Home for Abused Children, said the allegations against Wagner hit her hard.

"It's very sad that the undocumented are fearful of the police," she said. "I believe this officer took advantage of that fear because he knows an undocumented person will usually not come forward because they are afraid of being deported. She had so much to lose."

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