Alleged 'Fake Cop' Sex Assailant On Trial in SF

  • by Seth Hemmelgarn
  • Tuesday October 21, 2014
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A San Francisco man who's accused of pretending to be a cop and forcing other men to engage in sexual acts with him faced testimony in recent days from most of his seven alleged victims.

Jeffrey Bugai, 35, faces 39 counts including sodomy by anesthesia or a controlled substance, forcible oral copulation, and impersonating a public officer. Bugai has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Several men testified they had believed Bugai was a cop before he took them to an apartment and made them drink something they suspect was drugged.

The testimony came during a preliminary hearing held over recent days. Superior Court Judge Gerardo Sandoval was likely to hold Bugai for trial on at least some of the charges, but he had not yet ruled as the Bay Area Reporter went to press Wednesday.

According to court documents and testimony, Bugai often dressed like a police officer and drove a vehicle that resembled a police patrol car. All of the men, who appeared to be in their late 20s to early 30s, spoke through Spanish interpreters. Most of the men also said they had been drinking before they went to the apartment with Bugai.

Identified during the preliminary hearing as Miguel M., one alleged victim, 26, said he met Bugai at El Trebol bar, 3149 22nd Street, in the Mission district, around December 31, 2007. He got into a cab with Bugai, thinking he was getting a ride home.

Miguel said when they got to the apartment, Bugai gave him a glass of what looked and tasted like water, but after that, he testified, "I did not know anything anymore until I had him on top of me without any clothes."

Bugai was performing oral sex on him, Miguel told the court. He shook his head and rubbed his forehead as he described Bugai taking his penis and penetrating himself with it. He said he unsuccessfully tried to push him away and told him "No" during the incident, but "I had no strength."

"When everything finished, I stood up," Miguel said. "I wanted to go away." Bugai eventually let him go.

Another alleged victim, Tomas G., said he'd met Bugai "something like" last year as he walked near 22nd and Mission streets, close to El Trebol. Bugai stopped his car.

"He got out of the car and he told me to get inside the car," Tomas said. The word "Police" was on the back of his clothing.

When they got to the apartment, "he gave me some kind of drink. I don't know what it was, a drug or something like that," Tomas testified, adding that it tasted like vodka. Tomas told him he tried to say no when Bugai told him "take this, take this," but he drank it.

He said Bugai led him to a bedroom telling him "there were some women that were older but who had money" waiting. He said he didn't remember anything after that until "the following day when I woke up naked on the floor" with Bugai, who was also naked, next to him. He said Bugai grabbed his penis and began to perform oral sex.

"I did not want it, but I was very weak," Tomas said. "I was very weak, and I could not stand up."

Alleged victim Luis R., who wept during his testimony, said that in late 2008 Bugai had handcuffed him and a friend after meeting them at El Trebol and taken them to the apartment after telling him he was a cop. Bugai eventually "threw me to the ground," and told him, "All illegals are weaklings and they shouldn't be here," and touched Luis's penis through his pants as he tried to pull Luis's pants down. Luis said he fled the apartment after hitting Bugai with a ratchet. In November 2013, Luis went to police after seeing Bugai outside a bank. The other men came forward following media coverage of his report.

Another alleged victim, Faviel C., testified that he left El Trebol with Bugai in December 2013, thinking he was getting a ride home, "because he was a police officer" with a gun and other tools.

When they got to the apartment, Faviel said, he watched Bugai put bullets into the gun. Soon after that, Bugai lay on top of him, restrained his hands, and performed oral sex on him.

Alleged victim Juan C. said he'd given Bugai $180 in February near 25th and Mission streets.

"I had some beers in my hand in a bag," Juan said. "He said that was illegal, and he was going to give me a ticket."

Deputy Public Defender Phoenix Streets has said the charges against Bugai "are not true, and we're going to be able to prove they're not true."

Bugai, who showed no obvious emotion as the men testified against him, changed his name to Jeffrey Thomas in 2011, according to court documents. He has been in custody since his July arrest, and his bail is $3 million.

A final victim was set to testify Wednesday morning. The preliminary hearing started Thursday, October 9.

Assistant District Attorney Sharon Reardon is prosecuting the case.

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