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Press Release

Former California Police Officer Charged with Sexually Assaulting Multiple Women While on Duty

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in Fresno, California, returned a superseding indictment charging former Sanger, California, Police Department officer DeShawn Torrence with deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law for sexually assaulting four women with whom he interacted during the course of his duties.

Torrence was previously indicted in July 2022. At that time, he was charged with engaging in various forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct, ranging from directing a victim to remove her clothing without a legitimate law enforcement purpose to forcing his victims to engage in sex acts, all while serving as a police officer. The superseding indictment adds a charge involving an additional victim. According to the indictment, Torrence sexually assaulted the additional victim after locking her in his patrol vehicle and driving her to an isolated location.  

Five of the counts charged in the superseding indictment carry a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine. One count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison. The remaining counts each carry a maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California and Special Agent in Charge Siddhartha Patel of the FBI Sacramento Field Office made the announcement. 

The FBI Sacramento Field Office is investigating the case, with assistance from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Special Litigation Counsel Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar for the Eastern District of California are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated June 7, 2024

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-709