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Press Release

Former Sanger Police Officer Charged with Additional Civil Rights Violation Involving Sexual Assault

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, CALIF — A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment today charging former Sanger police officer J. Deshawn Torrence, 40, of Corcoran, with an additional count of deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law for sexually assaulting a woman 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.  

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

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar and Special Litigation Counsel Michael Songer of the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Torrence faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine for the counts of deprivation of rights under color of law resulting in bodily injury, including sexual abuse. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine if convicted of deprivation of rights under color of law, and he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the count of deprivation of rights under the color of law resulting in bodily injury. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated June 6, 2024

Topic
Civil Rights