Crime, Fire + Courts

No trial date yet for accused West Sacramento officer

By From page A2 | March 24, 2013

Sergio Alvarez. Courtesy photo

Sergio Alvarez. Courtesy photo

WOODLAND — A trial date for a West Sacramento police officer accused of sexually assaulting six women while on the job failed to materialize during a brief court hearing Friday.

“We need a little bit of time to confer with regards to our experts” before pinning down a possible trial date, defense attorney Gabriel Quinnan, who represents 37-year-old Sergio Alvarez, told Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg.

With numerous alleged victims and civilian witnesses expected to testify, “I really don’t want to set a trial date unless we have a reasonable certainty that it’s going to stay,” prosecuting attorney Garrett Hamilton agreed.

Rosenberg ordered the case back to court on April 9 for a trial-setting conference.

Although Quinnan had indicated he planned to challenge Alvarez’s $26.3 million bail figure at the defendant’s last court hearing, he made no mention of it Friday and declined to say afterward whether he intends to seek a lower bail amount.

Alvarez has pleaded not guilty to 35 felony counts of rape, kidnapping, forced oral copulation and sodomy in connection with assaults on six women on West Sacramento’s West Capitol Avenue between October 2011 and September 2012. He was arrested Feb. 25 after being indicted by the Yolo County grand jury.

One of the women has since filed a claim with the city of West Sacramento seeking unspecified damages in connection with her alleged assault.

In the claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — the woman says Alvarez illegally detained her in late August 2012 as she was walking along West Capitol Avenue, then assaulted her after driving her to another location in his patrol vehicle.

Alvarez “instructed me to ‘lay low’ and told me that he would see me again,” the woman, identified only by her first name, claimed in a signed declaration. “He said this in a way that I felt to be threatening.”

The woman said she came forward only after learning of Alvarez’s arrest because she feared retaliation. The claim was filed March 12.

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

Lauren Keene

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