Former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Miguel Lerma Jr. pleaded guilty today to forcibly raping one woman and raping a second who passed out after too much alcohol.
The 33-year-old Fountain Valley resident, who faced up to 32 years in state prison based on an April 2011 statement from prosecutors, was sentenced today to six years in the joint. He also must register as a sex offender for life.
He was still a border officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security agency on Sept. 10, 2009, when he met a woman out drinking with a friend in Long Beach. She eventually became so intoxicated she blacked out, which is when Lerma raped her. She did not know the rapist until earlier that evening, and she awoke lying in bushes alone.
She reported the rape, and Lerma was interviewed and submitted a DNA swab as part of the Los Angeles County investigation, which was still open on Nov. 14, 2010, when Lerma picked up a female prostitute, drove her to an industrial area of Garden Grove, parked the car and forcibly raped her outside the vehicle before driving off, leaving her behind.
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The prostitute reported the sexual assault to the police, and DNA evidence was later linked to Lerma from the Long Beach rape.
The Orange County District Attorney's office prosecuted Lerma for the rapes in both counties, based on the evidence gathered by police in Garden Grove and Long Beach.