A suspect who allegedly posed online as a modeling agent to set up a face-to-face meeting with a woman, then told her he was an undercover officer before kidnapping her and forcing her to perform a sex act, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that could bring a maximum sentence of 31 years to life in prison if he’s convicted.
Sean Michael Vasquez, 35, is charged with kidnapping to commit a sex offense, forcible oral copulation, false imprisonment and assault with intent to commit a sex offense, all felonies. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a police officer and faces a sentence-enhancing allegation of kidnapping resulting in substantial increase in harm to the victim.
Vasquez, who is being held on $1 million bail, initially posed as a modeling agent who went by the moniker “Alex,” according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He exchanged text messages with the 22-year-old alleged victim for several weeks before they met in person, prosecutors said.
The two eventually agreed to a “role play” date May 13 in Anaheim, where she was to pretend to be a prostitute, according to prosecutors. When he showed up, he allegedly flashed a police badge and falsely claimed to be an undercover cop.
Vasquez drove the woman to a self-storage facility parking lot, where he is accused of handcuffing her, getting her in the back of the car he was driving, and then locking the vehicle as he took her driver’s license, prosecutors allege.
Vasquez then allegedly went into the backseat with her, locked the vehicle again and demanded she perform a sex act on him as a way to resolve her “legal problem.” When the woman refused, he drove her to areas known for prostitution in Santa Ana and then directed her to try to rob people who solicit prostitution, prosecutors allege.
When that failed, the defendant drove the woman to a “secluded location” in a residential neighborhood, where he forced her to perform a sex act on him before driving her back to her car, prosecutors allege.
Investigators suspect there may be more victims and encouraged anyone with information to call investigator Eric Wiseman at (714) 347-8794.
–City News Service