A West Sacramento police officer accused of sexually assaulting six women while on duty pleaded not guilty Thursday to 35 felony charges contained in a grand jury indictment.
Sergio Alvarez, 37, looked on nervously as his attorney, Gabriel Quinnan, entered the plea on his behalf in Yolo Superior Court. He spoke only to waive his right to have a jury trial within 60 days.
Although Quinnan had hoped to address Alvarez’s $26.3 million bail amount at Thursday’s hearing, Judge David Rosenberg advised him to submit his motion in writing in order to give prosecutors an opportunity to respond and the court sufficient time to review the matter.
The bail issue is expected to be discussed at Alvarez’s next court hearing, which was set for March 22 to allow Quinnan time to review the estimated 900 pages of discovery the case already has generated.
Rosenberg also approved a request by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Garrett Hamilton to keep sealed the transcript of the Feb. 24 grand jury hearing that led to Alvarez’s indictment.
Alvarez arrived in court Thursday wearing a Yolo County Jail jumpsuit, but jail officials say he is still being housed at the Solano County Jail in Fairfield to reduce his chances of encountering someone he might have arrested.
Alvarez was arrested Feb. 25, five months after West Sacramento police first heard allegations of the sexual assaults on that city’s West Capitol Avenue, an area known for prostitution activity.
According to the indictment, Alvarez is accused of sexually assaulting, and at times kidnapping and threatening with arrest, six women between the ages of 20 and 47. The alleged incidents occurred between October 2011 and September 2012, the document says.
The West Sacramento Police Department has taken steps to terminate Alvarez from the agency, a process that still was pending as of Thursday, Lt. Tod Sockman said. Alvarez has worked for the department since 2007.
— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene