A San Francisco man accused of posing as a police officer to coerce immigrants into committing sex acts appeared in court for the first time Monday.
According to testimony, the 35-year-old defendant was with another man when the two dressed up as a police officers and kidnapped men from a bar in the mission
NBC Bay Area has learned he may have had an accomplice, someone police are still looking for.
During Monday's preliminary hearing, Jeffrey Bugai sat in a wheelchair in court. His attorneys say their client is ill but well enough to be present for his hearing.
The defendant is facing five felonies, including kidnapping and attempted sodomy by use of force. Authorities said the crimes were committed more than five years ago but not reported until last year since the victim, who was in the country illegally, thought the defendant was a cop and feared deportation.
On Monday, a San Francisco police sergeant took the stand for the prosecution, testifying that this scar on the back of the defendant’s head is the result of a struggle with one of his alleged victims back in 2008.
According to his testimony, the victim, who is only referred to as Luis R., was in a bar in the Mission District having drinks with another man who also worked as a day laborer. The officer said the defendant and an accomplice, both dressed like police officers, told the two victims they were under arrest for being drunk.
According to police, the victims were then led out of the bar handcuffed, with their heads covered with cloth bags. They were put into the defendant’s Crown Victoria and driven to his home by the second suspect who Luis said disappeared once they arrived at the house.
According to testimony, the defendant then led Luis and the other victim into his bedroom where they were shown homosexual pornographic films.
The victims were then reportedly forced to take multiple shots of rum. Luis told investigators he spit his out.
The other victim drank and passed out. At this point, the defendant and Luis allegedly struggled for an hour-and-a-half during which, Luis told investigators, the defendant kissed and groped him and attempted to disrobe him.
Luis was screaming for help in Spanish and the victim said the defendant made derogatory remarks about Hispanics, telling Luis if he went to police, no one would believe him. Luis told investigators he finally got away by grabbing a wrench and hitting the defendant in the head.
As he was leaving, the victim reportedly grabbed the defendant’s cell phone, thinking he could use it as evidence. Luis told police he gave it to a woman who told him she would help him but never did.
After seeing the defendant last year twice in public places, Luis reported the incident, bringing photos of the defendant with him, which officers used to identify him as a suspect in an ongoing investigation.