LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A deputy who worked patrol in the Palmdale Sheriff's  Station was behind bars today, accused of 11 felony counts including sexual  penetration under the color of authority, rape under fear or duress, and  soliciting a bribe from alleged victims, sheriff's officials said.

Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, 28, a seven-year veteran of the force, was taken  into custody at his home about 5:30 p.m., according to a sheriff's department  statement.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said that Sanchez worked in Palmdale  but lived elsewhere. Sanchez's hometown was not released for safety reasons,  Whitmore said.

A six-month investigation into a 2010 incident began with a tip from an  informant and the case was turned over to the District Attorney's Office in  January of 2011, authorities said.

Sanchez was relieved of duty with pay after the 2010 event and without  pay starting Monday, when he was arrested, officials said.

It is alleged that the incidents under investigation happened while  Sanchez was on duty, according to the sheriff's department.

He was being held at the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles in lieu of $1.45 million bail and his next court date, at the Clara Shortridge  Foltz Criminal Justice Center, was scheduled for Wednesday, according to  sheriff's online booking records.

Posted by Donald Morrison