Crime, Fire + Courts

Jury in former officer’s rape case still deliberating

By From page A5 | February 26, 2014

WOODLAND — Jurors in the case of a former West Sacramento police officer accused of sexually assaulting women while on duty completed their seventh day of deliberations Tuesday without reaching a verdict.

The seven-man, five-woman panel received the case on the afternoon of Feb. 14, charged with deciding whether 38-year-old Sergio Alvarez should be convicted or acquitted of 27 felony counts including aggravated kidnapping and rape by duress and use of authority.

Alvarez, a six-year veteran of the West Sacramento Police Department at the time of his arrest a year ago, is accused of using his position as a law-enforcement officer to threaten the women — described by authorities as prostitutes — with arrest unless they agreed to the sexual activity. All five of the alleged victims testified during the two-week trial.

The jury has deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours each day. Both the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office and J. Toney, Alvarez’s defense attorney, declined to comment Tuesday on the length of the deliberations.

But sources familiar with the case say the jury has asked for numerous readbacks of witness testimony, most recently that of Alvarez, who testified that he had consensual relationships with three of the women while on duty but denied contact with the other two.

The jury resumed its deliberations this morning.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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