Former ICE Special Agent Who 'Abused Position' Accused of Sex Assault, Rape

A former special agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was arrested earlier this week, accused of sexual assault and rape against multiple women.

According to the agency, 43-year-old John Jacobs Olivas was arrested Wednesday morning by agents from the FBI and ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). He is alleged to have abused his position to convince victims to not report his violent actions, which reportedly included the assault of one women and two rapes against another, a release said.

Olivas was arraigned in United States District Court in Riverside. He entered a not guilty plea and was ordered released on a $50,000 bond. The suspect will stand trial on Oct. 9.

According to ICE, an indictment alleges Olivas attempted to rape one victim in January 2012 after making it clear to her "that the police would not be responsive to any report she may make about defendant Olivas because of defendant Olivas' position as a federal law enforcement officer."

The indictment further alleges that Olivas raped another victim in September 2012 and again in November 2012. The suspect allegedly told her that reports about the attacks would be ignored.

The ICE release on the matter, published this week, said: "Olivas allegedly violated the victim's constitutional right to be free from deprivations of liberty without due process, which includes the right to bodily integrity. Olivas is charged with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, each of which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison."

Olivas began with his career with ICE in 2007 and resigned in September 2015.

The agency has been in the spotlight recently for its enhanced targeting of illegal immigrants in the country, seemingly empowered by the bold stance of U.S. president Donald Trump. Its tactics were calling into question by some politicians after it emerged that children crossing the border into America were being forcefully separated from their parents and kept in large metal cages.

One of its most outspoken critics in recent months has been democrat Bernie Sanders.

"I voted against the creation of DHS and the establishment of ICE," he tweeted in July. "That was the right vote. Now, it is time to do what Americans overwhelmingly want: abolish the cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform."

Earlier this week, it emerged that ICE agents had arrested a man who was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital to give birth. Joel Arrona-Lara, 36, was detained while stopping for gas.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The badge of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Fugitive Operations team is seen in Santa Ana, California, U.S., May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson