A former police officer in Southern California was arrested Thursday for allegedly raping two prostitutes while he was in uniform or carrying his service gun, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"The charges in this case describe disgraceful abuses of police authority that simply cannot be tolerated in our society,” United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement.

Forty-six-year-old Jose Jesus Perez of Menifee, California was arrested without incident in Denton, Texas. A federal grand jury indicted Perez on four civil rights offenses, claiming the officer forced two women to have sex with him "while acting under the color of law."

Perez was hired as a Los Angeles Police Department officer in 1997. Eleven years later, he left the LAPD and joined the San Bernardino Police Department. Perez was "released from employment" in December, according to prosecutors.

Perez allegedly stopped one prostitute on April 25, 2011 while on patrol and took her behind a building, where he told her to show him her breasts. Perez then demanded that the woman perform oral sex. When she refused, he forced himself on her. According to prosecutors, "the attack resulted in bodily injury to the victim, constituted aggravated sexual abuse, involved the use of a dangerous weapon (Perez’s service weapon), and resulted in the kidnapping of the victim."

In separate incidents in August and September 2011, Perez sexually assaulted another prostitute in a field. He allegedly coerced the same woman into having sex with him again on two more occasions. The victim said she "feared that if she refused Perez’s sexual advances he could and would make her life difficult."

Each of the four charges against Perez carry a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

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