Kern County deputy arrested on sex assault allegations

Kern County deputy arrested on sex assault allegations »Play Video
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TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Kern County deputy has been arrested on allegations of sexually assaulting a woman twice during a burglary investigation.

The burglary investigation led two deputies to a home in the Tehachapi area last month, searching for the suspect, the sheriff's office said Monday. At the home, the deputies located the burglary suspect, whose name was withheld, and arrested him.

Also at the home was a 21-year-old woman, who later accused one of the deputies of handcuffing her, taking her to another room and sexually assaulting her.

The accused deputy, 26-year-old Gabriel Lopez, also allegedly returned the same night to the woman's home. The deputy allegedly sexually assaulted the woman a second time, after the burglary suspect had been hauled away in a patrol car.

The woman was not the subject of the burglary investigation.

The sheriff's office launched an investigation March 27, two days after the sexual assault allegedly took place. Lopez was interviewed and placed on administrative leave April 2. The case was sent to the Kern County District Attorney's Office for review April 5, and an arrest warrant was issued Monday, the sheriff's office said.

Lopez is charged with assault by a peace officer under the color of authority, false imprisonment and sexual battery.