Woman shares encounter with Sanger officer arrested for sexual battery

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Friday, July 16, 2021
Woman shares encounter with Sanger officer arrested for sexual battery
When officer J.D. Torrence walked out of jail after posting bond, the woman who says she was victimized by him felt sick to her stomach.

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- The woman who filed a report that led to the arrest of a Sanger police officer for sexual battery and unlawful detainment shared disturbing claims with Action News.

Sanger police officer J.D. Torrence remained on administrative leave while Fresno County Sheriff's detectives continued their investigation.

At least seven other women claimed they were victimized by Torrence as well.

When Torrence walked out of the Fresno County Jail after posting bond last week, the woman whose accusations got the officer arrested felt sick to her stomach.

We concealed her identity for our story.

The night of June 23, 2021, she told us she was sitting in her car near 8th and Academy in Sanger when officer Torrence shined a flashlight in her face and said he smelled alcohol on her breath, so she needed to walk down the street for what she thought would be a breathalyzer test.

But the woman told us, "He asked me if I had on a bra and he like flicked my shirt open. When flicked my shirt, he like looked around for cameras."

The woman still had a friend waiting for her inside the car. "I wanted to go back to my car but how do you walk away from a cop?"

She claimed the officer said there was one way to get out of the situation and had her touch him inappropriately.

The woman tearfully recalled, "He assaulted me."

She added he also wanted to follow her home.

The woman said, "I started to panic and was like feeling like if I knew that he got me alone that he was going to rape me."

Eventually she said was able to drive to a well-lit area and the officer left.

While she was scared, she said knew she needed to report what happened, in hopes of preventing it from happening again. "Knowing what he did and the potential, it just made me realize that this wasn't the first time."

Her attorney, Butch Wagner, will be filing a civil lawsuit against Officer Torrence and the city of Sanger.

Wagner said, "There's a lot of sexual assaults and batteries that go on, unfortunately, in our society. But the worst is when a person of extreme power, like a police officer with a badge and a gun, does it to a woman alone in a parking lot. That's about abuse of power that can be."

Torrence's attorney Robert Baumann told Action News the defense is reserving comment until it receives evidence against Torrence that is not an allegation.