Today (Monday 7 January) should be day 3 of his trial.
Fountain Valley Patch: Rape Trial Set Today for Fountain Valley Border Patrol Agent (Jan 3 2013)
A border patrol agent from Fountain Valley is schedule to face trial today for the rapes of two women. Miguel Lerma Jr., 31, is suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in Garden Grove in 2010 and another woman in Long Beach in 2009. If convicted, he faces 32 years in prison.
Garden Grove Journal: Border and customs officer arrested by GGPD (Mar 31 2011)
Garden Grove police have arrested a federal law officer on charges of sexual assault and making terrorist threats. Miguel Lerma, Jr., of Fountain Valley, was arrested today (Thursday) as he left for work. He is currently a U.S. Custom and Border Protection Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. According to Lt. John Keely of the Garden Grove Police Department, Lerma was arrested in connection with the November 2010 sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman in Garden Grove. The case initially went unsolved, but was later linked to a similar assault in Long Beach through DNA evidence. That led to Lerma, say police.
ABC Local KABC: US Customs officer accused of raping 2 women (Apr 1 2011)
According to Garden Grove Police Lt. Scott Watson, DNA evidence led investigators to Fountain Valley resident Miguel Lerma Jr. Police said Lerma’s DNA matches two cases. A woman said Lerma picked her up in Santa Ana in November and then drove to Garden Grove and sexually assaulted her. His DNA also matched a case in Long Beach from 2009.
UPI: Border agent arrested in California rape (Apr 1 2011)
Miguel Lerma Jr. was arrested at his home in Fountain Valley in Orange County Thursday as he left for his job as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer with Homeland Security, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported. Lerma is accused of picking up a 20-year-old woman on a Santa Ana street last November and sexually assaulting her inside his vehicle. The crime was unsolved until police linked DNA from the case to a 2009 assault in Long Beach.
Orange County District Attorney: Press Release (Apr 4 2011)
For Immediate Release
Case # 11WF0759
April 4, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICER CHARGED WITH RAPING TWO WOMEN
*Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help identifying potential additional victims
WESTMINSTER – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer has been charged with sexually assaulting two women. Miguel Lerma Jr., 31, Fountain Valley, is charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, sodomy by force, and forcible oral copulation for Jane Doe #1 and one felony count of rape by use of drugs for Jane Doe #2. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 32 years in state prison. Lerma is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment April 18, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-14, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At the time of the sexual assaults, Lerma was employed as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
On Sept. 10, 2010, Lerma is accused of meeting Jane Doe #2 while she was out drinking with a friend in Long Beach. Over the course of the night, Jane Doe #2 became intoxicated due to alcohol and blacked out. While the victim was unconscious from alcohol intoxication, Lerma is accused of raping her. She did not know the defendant prior to this evening. The victim later awoke lying in the bushes alone.
Jane Doe #2 reported the rape and Lerma was interviewed and submitted a DNA swab as part of the investigation. The investigation for the rape of Jane Doe #2 was still ongoing and had not been charged by the Los Angeles County’s Office as of November 2010.
On Nov. 14, 2010, Lerma is accused of picking up prostitute Jane Doe #1, driving her to an industrial area in Garden Grove, and parking the car. The victim, who did not know the defendant, became frightened and tried to get out of the vehicle. Lerma is accused of getting out of the car, forcing Jane Doe #1 to orally copulate him and forcibly raping and sodomizing her while outside of the car. He is accused of then getting back into his car and fleeing the scene.
Jane Doe #1 immediately reported the sexual assault to the police. DNA was collected from the rape examination. On March 15, 2011, the DNA from the attack on Jane Doe #1 was linked to the DNA provided by Lerma for the rape of Jane Doe #2.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting Lerma for the Orange and Los Angeles County victims. The Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) and Long Beach Police Department investigated their respective cases.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794 or GGPD Detective Dave Young at (714) 741-5836.
Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
More articles about the arrest:
- CBS Local Los Angeles: Customs Agent Charged With Rape For Alleged Off-Duty Attack (Apr 4 2011)
- My Fox L.A.: U.S. Customs Agent Charged with Rape (Apr 4 2011)
- Orange County Register: Customs officer charged with raping two women (Apr 4 2011)
- Huffington Post: Miguel Lerma Jr., Border Protection Officer, Charged With Rape (Apr 4 2011)
- ABC Local KABC: US Customs officer charged with rape in OC (Apr 5 2011)
Orange County Weekly: Miguel Lerma Jr., Border Patrol Officer, Held in Sexual Assaults of Women in Garden Grove and Long Beach (Apr 4 2011)
U.S. Customs & Border Protection officer Miguel Lerma Jr. has been charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, sodomy by force and forcible oral copulation for allegedly attacking a woman in Garden Grove, plus one felony count of rape by use of drugs for the accusations involving a woman in Long Beach. If convicted, Lerma could get up to 32 years in state prison, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office (OCDA), which also noted the 29-year-old is being held in lieu of $1 million bail before his arraignment is scheduled to continue April 18 in Westminster.
Fountain Valley Patch: Lerma Arraignment Postponed for Second Time: Rape suspect’s defense cites delay in access to police reports, other evidence from law enforcement (Apr 18 2011)
A Fountain Valley man charged with sexually assaulting two women had his arraignment postponed for a second time Monday because, his attorney said, of a lack of access to pertinent documents from law enforcement … Lerma, 31, first appeared in Judge John Adams’ court at the West Justice Center in Westminster on April 4 and has remained in custody at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail since his arrest. He appeared visibly thinner at his Monday morning appearance as he agreed once again to waive his right to a timely arraignment.
Garden Grove Journal: Hearing for man accused of rape, threats (Aug 5 2012)
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday in the case of a former federal law officer accused of sexual assault of a woman in Garden Grove and making terrorist threats. The hearing for Miguel Lerma, Jr. is set for the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. According to authorities, the suspect, who was a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer for the Department of Homeland Security, is accused of raping an intoxicated 20-year-old woman in Long Beach. She awoke alone in some bushes. The victim reported the rape and submitted a DNA swab. Authorities allege that Lerma picked up another woman, a prostitute, and drove to an industrial area of Garden Grove. He is accused of forcing her to orally copulate him, then forcibly raped and sodomized her. DNA collected from the rape examination was linked to the evidence gathered from the other victim.