Appeal denied for ex-cop convicted of raping 3 women

Former San Benito Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Rodrigues reflects

Former San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Rodrigues
has lost his appeal of a 2009 rape conviction, according to court
records.
Former San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Michael Rodrigues has lost his appeal of a 2009 rape conviction, according to court records.

The three-judge panel with the Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled against Rodrigues in a denial filed Wednesday.

Rodrigues filed his case with the appellate court in November 2009, days after his sentencing and about two months after a San Benito County jury found him guilty of raping three women between 1999 and 2006.

Rodrigues, 50, had spent 25 years at the sheriff’s office before his arrest in December 2007 following grand jury indictments in the case.

The appellate panel in San Jose heard the Rodrigues case in late April and had 90 days to issue a majority opinion. A private California firm called the Innocence Legal Team represented the former sheriff’s sergeant.

With the three convictions in 2009, Rodrigues faced a minimum of 60 years in prison. The jury convicted him on four counts of rape with the three women, with each offense calling for a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. A provision in the law disallows concurrent sentencing because Rodrigues was convicted on multiple offenses with special enhancements.

The sixth district appellate court handles cases from Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties.

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