More women report incidents with Sanger police officer arrested for sexual battery

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Friday, July 9, 2021
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A Sanger police officer accused of improperly using his position and committing sexual battery could be facing new charges.

SANGER, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Sanger police officer accused of improperly using his position and committing sexual battery could be facing new charges and his conduct could impact several criminal cases.

After Sheriff Margaret Mims and Sanger Police Chief Greg Garner announced the arrest of Officer JD Torrence, Fresno County sheriff's investigators got two calls from women who said they had similar experiences.

Sanger police officer JD Torrence walked out of jail late Wednesday night after posting a $50,000 bond for his arrest on a sexual battery charge.

VIDEO: Sanger police officer accused of sexual battery bails out of jail

His chief said he pulled over a woman at night a week earlier and he broke protocol by not telling police dispatchers and not turning on his body camera.

Investigators say he sent a man away and then touched the woman in a sexual manner against her will.

"He had planned this out," legal analyst Tony Capozzi said of the protocol violations. "When he doesn't notify dispatch that he's pulling someone over. I mean, that's a dangerous event when you pull someone over. You don't know what's going to happen."

Torrence didn't return messages from Action News and his family referred us to an attorney who also didn't return messages.

Capozzi says his attorney might try to flip the fact that there's no body camera video and no dispatch call, saying an officer wouldn't do that knowing the danger.

He says a sexual battery case often comes down to whom you believe, but in this one, there may be corroborating evidence of a crime.

"You have the victim and you have the passenger in the car and in addition, you have the two other witnesses who have come forward and said this happened to me," Capozzi said. "That's a devastating blow to the defense in this case."

Action News heard from two women with similar stories, but neither wanted to elaborate publicly.

Sheriff's investigators are in the process of interviewing at least three potential victims.

Defense attorneys are keeping an eye on developments too because of the charges prove to be true, they'll argue any testimony from Torrence is tainted.

"I think the fact that this has come out is going to be a factor in every other case that he's ever pulled somebody over," Capozzi said.

Torrence has been with the Sanger Police Department for five years now, but nobody knows exactly how many cases he was involved with.

He's on paid administrative leave while the investigation develops.

And if there are new charges, he could wind up back in jail.