Cop Watch

Monday, September 12, 2005

Officer pleads not guilty to charges involving vehicle stops

An Oakland police officer charged with stopping women for alleged traffic violations and touching and kissing them, had a not guilty plea entered Thursday on his behalf, his attorney said.

Officer Richard Valerga, 51, faces five charges of interfering with civil rights, and two for false imprisonment. Valerga was not required to be in court because the charges are misdemeanors.

Police said Valerga held two women against their will and patted and kissed some of the women, most of whom were recent immigrants to the United States.

Defense attorney Paul Brennan said Valerga is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 13.