Former Calif. deputy gets 16-month sentence

By Larry Welborn
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A former Orange County sheriff's deputy assigned to the Orange County Transportation Authority admitted Friday that he abused his position to photograph and fondle prostitutes.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Borris sentenced Richard Rodriguez, 44, of Chino to 16 months in prison after Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two felony counts of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. He retired from the department in January.

Sheriff's investigators found that Rodriguez, while on duty and in a marked patrol car, had worked Harbor Boulevard picking up prostitutes. He told them he needed to confirm their identities, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Rodriguez then drove the women to a secluded area, where he groped some and ordered others to strip for photos, according to the statement.

Rodriguez threatened to arrest the women if they ignored his demands, prosecutors said.

Copyright 2008 The Orange County Register

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