The jury deciding the case of ex-West Sacramento cop Sergio Alvarez deadlocked on 10 counts in his sex assault trial Wednesday after eight days of deliberation, but the former officer faces 17 other counts that could send him to prison.
Alvarez, 38, could face life in prison on sexual assault and kidnapping counts connected to alleged attacks on women in 2011 and 2012 while patrolling the beat on the overnight shift. Yolo County district attorney’s prosecutors portrayed the former officer as a rogue cop who targeted prostitutes and drug addicts on the late-night streets, sexually assaulting them inside and out of his police cruiser.
The trial focuses on the accusations of five women against Alvarez.
At trial, defense attorney J. Toney said Alvarez did not force the women into sex or kidnap them to other locales for sex, saying one of the women was sexually involved with Alvarez for months after their first encounter.
And on Wednesday, prosecutors could not persuade the jury to convict on 10 counts of rape, forced sexual penetration, forced oral copulation and kidnapping against four alleged victims.
The jury is expected to decide today on the 17 remaining counts against Alvarez. Jurors announced they had a verdict just before 3 p.m., but errors by the panel likely delayed their decision until today. Jurors had found Alvarez guilty on the first count – aggravated kidnapping – as well as a lesser charge of simple kidnap, but Yolo Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall sent the panel back to the jury room with the admonition that they had to choose between the greater or lesser charge. Fearing that the jurors had made the same mistake on the other counts, Fall had the panel review the remaining forms.
The panel was unable to finish reviewing their verdicts before court ended at 4:30 p.m. Fall ordered the jurors back to his courtroom this morning.
Authorities began building the case against Alvarez in September 2012 after a woman told West Sacramento police that a uniformed officer had attacked her. The accusation launched a five-month investigation by West Sacramento and Sacramento police and a Yolo County grand jury indictment that led to Alvarez’s arrest a year ago Tuesday.
Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.