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Preliminary hearing postponed for Indio officer accused of rape

On Wednesday morning, a preliminary hearing was rescheduled to a later date in the case of a Indio police officer facing charges in connection with the rape of a young woman in 2016.

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Sergio Ramirez, is charged with rape by force or fear and oral copulation by force or violence. Ramirez pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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According to a Riverside County sheriff’s investigator’s declaration in support of an arrest warrant, the 18-year-old victim was staying at Ramirez’s house starting in June 2016 and planned to remain at the home until Aug. 8, when she planned to move away for college.

However, on Aug. 6, the victim said Ramirez came into her room in the early morning hours while she was asleep and laid down next to her. She said she “felt uncomfortable,” moved to another room and fell asleep on a couch, but woke again to Ramirez sexually assaulting her.

The declaration states that “she could not believe he was doing this because he has been such a positive role model for her and he is a police officer. She viewed him as a father figure.”

Following the assault, the victim said she fled to a friend’s home down the street and then went to Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, where she underwent a sexual assault examination. Sheriff’s deputies say Ramirez’s wife texted the victim, asking her to lie to police and to not undergo the sexual assault examination at the hospital.

The declaration also states that Ramirez’s wife washed the clothes that the victim was wearing during the alleged sexual assault. A second sheriff’s investigator’s declaration for an arrest warrant states that “family members have already attempted to dissuade the victim from moving forward with the case” and expressed concern for the victim’s safety, as Ramirez knew where she lived and deputies were unable to locate one of
Ramirez’s firearms.

In August 2016, Ramirez was released from custody after posting $85,000 bail.

The preliminary hearing was rescheduled to Jan. 18 after an officer that was set to testify Wednesday was not able to be in court due to being sick.

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