2 Los Angeles officers charged with raping women on duty

Two Los Angeles police officers have been arrested and charged with repeatedly raping four women while on duty over a three-year period.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced the charges against James Nichols and Luis Valenzuela on Wednesday. The charges include rape under color of authority and forced oral copulation. Valenzuela also is charged with pointing a gun at one of the women.

It’s unclear whether the officers have attorneys.

Prosecutors say the rapes began in December 2008 after Nichols and Valenzuela became partners in the department’s Hollywood Division. They say all four women assaulted had been arrested on drug-related charges at various times by the officers.

Police Chief Charlie Beck says in a statement that "any officer that abuses the public’s trust is not welcome in the LAPD."

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