2 L.A. cops plead no contest to raping women on duty

LOS ANGELES – Two Los Angeles police officers pleaded no contest Monday to sexually assaulting women in their unmarked police car while on duty .

Officers Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols pleaded no contest to two counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The pair is accused of a pattern of predatory behavior in which one partner often acted as a lookout while the other had forcible sex with a victim in their car. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office originally filed more than a dozen felony counts against the two men in 2016, claiming that they forced four women to have sex with them between 2008 and 2011. The women, ages 19 to 34, were informants for drug investigators and had been arrested for drug-related crimes. Some of the women told investigators that they were afraid officers would arrest them if they refused to have sex with them.

Both men were sentenced to 25 years in state prison and will have to register as sex offenders.