WOODLAND — Disgraced former police Officer Sergio Alvarez was sentenced Friday to 205 years to life in state prison, moments after his estranged wife called for “strict and swift” punishment for the man convicted of raping five women while patrolling the streets of West Sacramento.
“He lacks the moral compass and direction in life,” Rachel Alvarez, who fled to Florida with her three children in the wake of her husband’s arrest and grand jury indictment last year, said in a letter read by a victim advocate in Yolo Superior Court Judge Tim Fall’s courtroom.
“Sergio was a fire that destroyed my family’s home,” the letter continued. “Sergio’s fire destroyed my community. … It will take years for everyone to rebuild what this fire has consumed.”
With that, Fall handed down the lengthy sentence that prosecutors said was likely forthcoming — multiple life sentences for the 18 felony counts of rape, oral copulation by duress and aggravated kidnapping of which a Yolo County jury convicted him on Feb. 27 following a two-week trial and nine days of deliberations.
The jurors — several of whom attended Friday’s sentencing — deadlocked on an additional nine counts, which Fall dismissed at the request of prosecuting attorney Garrett Hamilton.
At trial, Hamilton portrayed Alvarez, 38, as a rogue cop who preyed upon some of the most vulnerable members of society when he detained his five victims — described as prostitutes, drug addicts and alcoholics — and threatened them with arrest and jail time unless they submitted to sex acts in back alleys and other remote locations.
Testifying in his own defense, Alvarez admitted to having sexual relationships with three of the women, describing them as consensual, but denied having any contact with the other two. Defense attorney J. Toney painted the women as liars and schemers, suggesting they conspired with one another in order to benefit from a civil lawsuit that is pending against the former officer.
Toney declined to comment to reporters following Friday’s sentencing hearing, where he objected to portions of a pre-sentencing report prepared by the Yolo County Probation Department that noted Alvarez’s infliction of great bodily harm upon his victims, as well as the callousness and cruelty demonstrated by his acts while under the color of authority.
“One doesn’t need to bludgeon somebody into submission to be considered callous and cruel,” he said.
Alvarez did not deliver a statement Friday, sitting shackled and mostly expressionless during the hearing. About a half-dozen of his relatives attended the proceeding but left without comment, walking away from the Woodland courthouse with their arms around one another.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig praised Hamilton and the Sacramento Police Department, which investigated the women’s assault allegations, for their work on the case.
“As a result of their dedication, justice was served and Alvarez will never be able to harm again,” Reisig said.
— Reach Lauren Keene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene