COALINGA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former Coalinga Police Department sergeant is facing criminal charges, accused of unlawful intercourse with a minor and kidnapping.
The former officer was indicted by a Grand Jury earlier this year, but that document was just unsealed on Friday.
According to court documents, the former police sergeant, Juan Cisneros, pleaded not guilty to two counts.
The first count is for unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 16.
The second is for felony kidnapping.
The charges claim Cisneros took the girl to another part of Fresno County unlawfully, forcibly or by instilling fear in the girl.
Cisneros turned himself into authorities on June 17, 2021 and bonded out of jail shortly after he was booked.
The Coalinga Chief of Police, Darren Blevins, said he was made aware of the allegations last year by a detective who learned about them while investigating an unrelated crime.
"I immediately went to my supervisor, advised her, and at that time, I initiated a criminal investigation and I immediately placed the officer on administrative leave with pay," said Chief Blevins.
Cisneros started with the Coalinga Police Department in 2008.
The alleged incident happened while he was on duty between April 2012 and April 2013.
Chief Darren Blevins said a detective reviewed prior cases Cisneros handled to ensure there were no other concerning allegations.
Cisneros resigned in May of 2020 prior to the administrative investigation being completed, according to Chief Blevins.
"The reason why this wasn't put out when it first occurred is to keep the integrity of the case intact and allow due process for all parties involved." said Chief Blevins.
A judge granted an order of protection for the alleged victim in the case, requiring Cisneros not to make contact or come within 100 yards of her.
The former sergeant is being represented by attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt.
He told Action News orders of protection in these types of cases are standard.
He said Cisneros was a highly decorated officer with Coalinga Police Department.
In 2015, Cisneros was awarded the Law Enforcement Medal of Valor by the Chief of Police at Coalinga City Hall.
Hammerschmidt said in a statement to Action News, "Mr. Cisneros denies committing any of the allegations from more than eight years ago and denies committing any crime against the alleged victim."
Chief Blevins said Cisneros had no sustained records of sexual assault, dishonesty or great bodily injury while with the department.
The district attorney's office could not comment on why the criminal grand jury was used in this case, but say they will continue to use it when facts and circumstances warrant.
The next court date is set for November 4, 2021.