Former SBC sheriff's Sgt. Mike Rodrigues is shown in court in this January file photo.

The transcript of testimony was released Wednesday of three
suspected victims and four other witnesses in front of the grand
jury that in December 2007 indicted former sheriff’s deputy Mike
Rodrigues of three counts of forcible rape, two counts of unlawful
sexual penetration and one count each of spousal rape, attempted
rape and domestic violence.
Editor’s note: This story contains some explicit testimony from suspected rape victims.


The transcript of testimony was released Wednesday of three suspected victims and four other witnesses in front of the grand jury that in December 2007 indicted former sheriff’s deputy Mike Rodrigues of three counts of forcible rape, two counts of unlawful sexual penetration and one count each of spousal rape, attempted rape and domestic violence.

The transcript had been kept sealed by San Benito County Superior Court Judge Harry Tobias for three months while prosecutors and the defense both had argued – for different reasons – to keep it secret.

Rodrigues pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing March 7, and the judge set a pre-trial conference for April 16.

During a grand jury hearing, only the prosecution is in attendance, so Rodrigues’ defense lawyers could not present their own evidence or cross-examine witnesses. Rodrigues declined to comment on the allegations when reached on his cell phone Thursday, and his attorney was out of town and could not be reached before press time.

The suspected victims described, in often brutal detail, allegations that Rodrigues used manipulation, humiliation and violence to force them to perform sexual acts against their will in a time frame stretching from 2000 to 2007, according to the transcript.

Woman testifies he ripped off clothes

The first suspected victim in chronological order of when the alleged crimes occurred said she met Rodrigues when he came to her workplace to investigate a “lost puppy dog.” She testified that he convinced her he was not married and that they entered into a consensual relationship based solely around sex, according to the transcript. The sex eventually became violent, she testified.

She testified that after five or six weeks she ended the relationship, refusing to answer his calls or meet him. But one day, in 2000, when she was on a break at work talking with a male coworker, he demanded that she meet him at her apartment, according to the transcript. She alleged in the testimony that she agreed and that when she arrived, he raped her.

“He turned me around and pulled my pants down … He ripped off my underwear and my tights,” she testified, according to the transcript. “I told him I didn’t want to have sex with him. He said: ‘You are my girlfriend and that’s the way it is. And I don’t want you talking to or seeing anyone else.'”

The witness said she decided to come forward with her story after she had heard about others alleging Rodrigues raped them.

‘He just … snapped’

The next suspected victim was married to Rodrigues from 1996 until now, although a divorce case is under way. The Free Lance does not name or identify suspected sex-crime victims, but Rodrigues has been charged in court with spousal rape.

The witness described a sexless marriage where she spent the majority of her nights sleeping in her daughter’s bed away from her husband and that despite her attempts to seduce Rodrigues, he was not interested in physical attention, according to the transcript.

This situation went on, the witness testified, until one night in February 2006, when she decided to sleep in the same bed as Rodrigues. That night, she said she saw a side of her husband she had never seen before – a violent one, according to the transcript.

“He just all of a sudden snapped out and got on top of me and held me by the hair … and tore off my pants and grabbed my thighs to … I tried to push his chest off, you know, to stop,” she said, according to the transcript. “He proceeded … It was devastating.”

The witness described dime-size bruises on her inner thighs from the experience but said she did not report the crime until detectives investigating other instances came to her with questions – and informed her that her description amounted to a rape allegation, according to the transcript.

Former coworker alleges attempted rape of prostitute

John Klauer is a reserve sheriff’s deputy with the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office and worked with Rodrigues at the sheriff’s department for 15 years. Klauer was subpoenaed to testify about an experience he said he had with Rodrigues involving a suspected prostitute in May 2004.

Klauer testified that during a work-related trip to Laughlin, Nev., Rodrigues brought what Klauer discerned to be a prostitute back to their hotel room and attempted to rape her in front of Klauer.

“The next thing I know is he had thrown her onto his bed, you know, face down, stomach down onto the bed and had both her arms up above her head with his arms on top of her and started to attempt to have sex with her,” said Klauer, according to the transcript. “I can hear her starting to yell now, ‘No. Stop … Stop doing this.’ She is screaming, ‘No, no …’ And I’m in shock at this point, and he says, ‘John, come over and hold this (expletive) down for me.’

Klauer said he finally convinced Rodrigues to stop and that Rodrigues threw the woman out into the hall of the hotel. Klauer testified that he wished he had arrested him on the spot but that he didn’t because Rodrigues was his superior and the woman was not a victim.

Witness testified she begged him to stop

Another suspected victim said her relationship with Rodrigues began in February 2007 when he approached her car while on duty, chatting politely and arranging meetings throughout the course of the night in between calls when Rodrigues had to leave and attend to his duties as a sheriff’s deputy.

The night they met, the witness testified, Rodrigues tried kissing her and touched her genital area, and she attempted to stop him. She testified that she wasn’t strong enough to do so.

Despite being scared and leaving right after the incident, the witness described Rodrigues as “very persistent” – calling her phone regularly until she would agree to meet him again, according to the transcript.

During one of these meetings, the witness described an allegation of Rodrigues using a vibrator to rape her and that it caused vaginal and bladder bruising, as well as head and neck injuries. She testified that she begged him to stop.

“He was in a rage and wouldn’t stop,” she said, according to the transcript.

She said he also had raped her in a more “conventional” method, according to the transcript.

“He placed his fingers through the sides of my hair while he is on top of me and just locked his hands and just starts, like pulling … And I’m trying to get his hands free and I’m telling him ‘Stop! You have got to stop!'”

The same witness testified that Rodrigues tried to intimidate her but that she was prepared to fight back, with deadly force if necessary, if he tried to rape her again.

“He (Rodrigues) said, ‘If I wanted to, you would be no match for me … I could basically kill you,'” said the witness, according to the testimony.

“I have an eight-inch, bench-made knife … I told him if he came in the room … that I had my knife and I was going to stab him with it,” the transcript reads.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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