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A jury found Riverside special agent John Olivas guilty of three counts of violating civil rights while acting as a government employee Dec. 21. Olivas worked for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for eight years, starting in 2007, and assaulted two victims in 2012.

A woman testified that he attempted to rape her in January, 2012, after telling her he was “above a cop” and “untouchable,” due to his position as a federal agent. He also told her he could make her “disappear,” remove her children and arrest her on fake charges, she testified.

He raped another woman in September, 2012, and again in November, 2012. She testified that Olivas pointed his government weapon into her back before the first assault. She lived with Olivas during the assault, according to court documents.

The grand jury filed their indictment Aug. 1, 2018. His trial was originally scheduled for Oct. 9, 2018, but was postponed multiple times. A November, 2021, trial resulted in a mistrial, after the jury deadlocked on each count.

The trial took 11 days.

According to court documents, Olivas and his later girlfriend, a witness in the trial, got into an argument about marriage in September, 2013, after the assaults. When she said she was going to leave, Olivas pointed his government-issued gun at her and said “You’re not going anywhere,” according to court documents. He then either said, “You’re not going anywhere,” or “You’re gonna die before you’re gonna go anywhere.” He had also pretended to call local law enforcement, and told his girlfriend that the police would not let her leave his house, according to witness testimony recounted in court documents.

Olivas’ ex-wife had also testified in the first trial, saying he raped her on her first date, according to court documents.

Olivas was also being prosecuted in Riverside Superior Court for the same Nov. 3, 2012, assault.

In a case filed Aug. 29, 2014, (RIF1403028), he was charged with assault with a gun, false imprisonment, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse and unconscious rape. On Sept. 10, 2015, he pleaded guilty to assault with a gun and inflicting corporal injury, and his remaining charges were dismissed. Deputy District Attorney Tara Foy prosecuted.

Prosecutors were allowed to bring his guilty plea into evidence during the federal trial.

He will be sentenced March 11.

Case information

California Central District Judge Jesus Bernal presided.

Sole practitioner Meghan Blanco represented Olivas.

U.S. attorneys Frances Lewis and Eli Alcaraz prosecuted.

Case No. 5:18-cr-00231

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