Kern County Sheriff's Office: Deputy arrested for sexual assault

Deputy's bail set at $60k


After nearly two weeks of investigating, a Kern County Sheriff's deputy was arrested for sexual assault today in Kern County.

On March 27, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into allegations that a deputy sheriff had sexually assaulted a 21-year-old woman at her home on March 25.

The victim reported that two deputies went to her home in the Tehachapi area at about 11:00 p.m., to investigate a burglary involving a man who was at her home. 

While speaking to deputies in her home she was handcuffed and led into a room by one of the deputies to be searched.  While being searched she was sexually assaulted by the deputy, according to reports.

During the burglary investigation officials said the man was arrested and placed in a patrol car. The second deputy took him to the Tehachapi Substation before he was taken to jail.

Shortly after the second deputy left her home the deputy who had assaulted her returned.  He entered her home and sexually assaulted her a second time, and then left her home.

The victim initially reported the incident to the Tehachapi Substation on March 27, according to officials.  After the initial report was taken, detectives with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault and Abuse Investigation Unit began an investigation into the allegations. 

On April 2, detectives said they contacted the deputy, 26-year-old Gabriel Lopez, at the beginning of his shift.  Detectives interviewed Lopez, and he was then placed on administrative leave, according to officials.

On April 5, officials said the case was submitted to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for review. 

On April 8, the District Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Lopez, charging him with assault by a peace officer under the color of authority, false imprisonment, and sexual battery.  After the warrant was issued detectives contacted Lopez at his home and arrested him for the listed charges.

He will be booked into the Kern County Jail. His bail has been set at $60,000.

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