A border patrol agent accused of raping women in Long Beach and Garden Grove was scheduled to face trial Thursday. The agent, a Fountain Valley resident, was arrested in 2011.
Miguel Lerma Jr., 31, is suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in Garden Grove in 2010 and another woman in Long Beach in 2009. If convicted, he faces 32 years in prison.
Lerma Jr., was working as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent when the alleged rapes occurred.
In the first case, prosecutors say Lerma met two women who were out drinking one night in Long Beach. When one of the women blacked out from alcohol, investigators say Lerma raped her and left her in the bushes. The victim reported the rape, and Lerma was interviewed but not arrested, court records show.
Fourteen months later, prosecutors allege Lerma picked up a prostitute in Santa Ana, drover her to a Garden Grove industrial park and sexually assaulted her. DNA from that case linked Lerma to the first one, Garden Grove police Lt. John Keely said.
Lerma was arrested in Fountain Valley as he was leaving for work one morning in 2011. He remains in custody with his bail set at $1 million.