Deputy Charged With Sexually Assaulting a Dozen Prostitutes

Prosecutors have charged an Orange County sheriff's deputy with detaining prostitutes and then sexually assaulting them in his patrol car.

Deputy Richard Rodriguez, 43, was charged Thursday with five felony counts of false imprisonment, three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and one misdemeanor count of engaging in acts of prostitution.

Rodriguez, who has been on administrative leave since March pending an investigation, was arrested when he reported to sheriff's headquarters for a meeting about the case, sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Rodriguez, of Chino, posted $500,000 bail Friday and was to be arraigned Monday.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Rodriguez had retained an attorney and attempts to reach him by phone Friday morning were unsuccessful.

The investigation began eight months ago when one of the victims came forward.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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