SANGER, Calif. (KGPE)- A total of eight victims have come forward following the arrest of a Sanger Police officer arrested on charges of sexual battery and unlawfully detaining a person, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
J.D. Torrence’s arrest stemmed from an incident that allegedly occurred while he was on duty.
The identities of the victims who have come forward have not been released.
The latest allegations date back to 2017, just a year after he started working with the department.
Lt. Brandon Pursell with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says “It is really striking a nerve in the community and we are seeing some people come forward and we do believe that more women are going to come forward.”
“There are different crimes that we are not getting into just yet, but all of them are of a sexual nature,” says Lt. Pursell.
Of the eight cases that have come to light, five of them are considered sex crimes, while the other three misconduct. Authorities say all but one of the cases happened in Sanger while Torrence was in uniform.
Lt. Pursell says the claims show a pattern of Torrence, where he would prey on the victims and use his authority to intimidate them.
Deputies say an allegation of misconduct was reported to Sanger Police Department on June 24 against Officer J.D. Torrence. The department requested the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office investigate the complaint.
According to Sheriff’s Office investigators, the incident took place on June 23 in Sanger. While on duty, Officer Torrence stopped his patrol vehicle to check on a parked car. He detained a woman inside and reportedly touched the woman against her will in a sexual manner. The woman walked away to a well-lit business and remained until Officer Torrence left the area.
Sanger Police Chief Greg Garner says Torrence was wearing a body cam – but it was turned off against the department’s protocol. Garner described the allegations as deeply disturbing.
Torrence’s bail was set at $250,000. He has since been placed on leave from the police department.
Anyone who believes they also had inappropriate contact with Officer Torrence is asked to contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chad Stokes on 559-600-8144.