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Former Bell police officer charged with rape and a string of assaults

June 20, 2007|Stuart Silverstein | Times Staff Writer

A former Bell police officer was charged Tuesday with repeated violent crimes, including multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and a rape.

Juan Reyes, 31, of South Gate was arraigned on the charges after a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigation of a string of incidents over the last two years. Reyes was dismissed from the Bell police force last month after working for the department for more than five years.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office is alleging that Reyes threatened a woman he was dating and two other people with a gun at a Maywood club in July 2005, then followed the woman home and raped her. Prosecutors allege that he later stalked the same woman.

In addition, prosecutors allege that Reyes, in another off-duty incident, nearly ran over two Glendale police officers in April 2006 in a parking garage as the officers were working on a matter unrelated to Reyes.

Reyes, who is married, also was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery for allegedly pushing his wife in their home in April and again this month.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 29, and he is being held in custody in lieu of $660,000 bail. If convicted of all the charges, Reyes could face a maximum sentence of nearly 25 years in state prison.

Alan Morgenstern, a lawyer for the Los Angeles County public defender's office who represented Reyes at Tuesday's arraignment, declined to comment.

stuart.silverstein@latimes.com

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