The Riverside Deputy Drama: Delving into Sexual Assault, Extortion, and Bribery Accusations

Riverside County sheriff’s deputy Christian Heidecker’s case has drawn widespread attention. He faces 18 charges, including sexual assault, extortion, and bribery. These charges arise from his dealings with women in a home electronic detention program in California. Let’s explore the case’s key aspects.

The Charges: Sexual Assault, Extortion, and Bribery

Engaging in Sexual Acts Without Consent as a Detention Officer (Penal Code 289.6 PC – Sex with an Inmate): Christian Heidecker is charged under California Penal Code 289.6 PC. This charge arises from allegations that he engaged in non-consensual sexual acts with inmates under his supervision. The prosecution asserts that Heidecker abused his position of power to exploit vulnerable individuals in custody. If convicted, the consequences can be severe.

Engaging in non-consensual sexual activity with a detainee can lead to jail. The punishment is up to one year in county jail. Alternatively, it could be 16 months, two, or three years in state prison. Additionally, they may be required to register as a sex offender.

Extortion (Penal Code 518): Heidecker allegedly threatened to release explicit photos or videos of the victims unless they complied with his demands. A conviction under Penal Code 518 could result in imprisonment and substantial fines.

Bribery (Penal Code 67 & 68): Heidecker is also charged with bribery under Penal Codes 67 & 68. Suggesting that he might have exchanged explicit photos or videos as bribes. A conviction could lead to imprisonment and significant fines.

  • According to Penal Code 67.5(a), offering a bribe to a ministerial officer or employee of the State of California, if the value of the bribe would be considered petty theft, is a misdemeanor.
  • If the value of the bribe would be considered grand theft, as per Penal Code 67.5(b), the offense is a felony and is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

Key Moments and Evidence

  • Days before Heidecker’s charges, three victims claim that county officials offered them compensation ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for the acts committed against them.
  • The women felt pressured into accepting these payoffs, fearing repercussions like returning to jail.
  • One of the victims, a 36-year-old Coachella Valley woman, alleges that Heidecker forced her to send images of her feet and engaged in sexually inappropriate conversations.
  • The same woman mentioned that after Heidecker’s sudden replacement on Sept. 7, she was interviewed by two detectives about the deputy’s behavior on Sept. 13. She felt pressured to sign a document offering her compensation, which was increased from $1,000 to $2,000 when she hesitated.
  • A major revelation is that Heidecker allegedly deleted texts from his county phone. This was before uploading them to the county server.

The Defense’s Perspective

Heidecker’s defense team is expected to challenge the evidence. They may question witness statements’ reliability. Additionally, they might probe Heidecker’s mental state during the incidents.

Legal Defenses

Given the nature of the charges and the evidence presented, Heidecker’s defense team might employ several legal defenses, including:

  1. Challenges to Evidence:  The defense may contest the chain of custody for physical evidence, the reliability of witness statements, or the legality of search and seizure procedures.
  2. Mental State or Capacity:  The defense might argue that Heidecker was suffering from a mental disorder or emotional distress that impaired his judgment.
  3. Lack of Intent: For the bribery charge, the defense might claim that Heidecker did not exchange explicit photos or videos with the intent of bribery.


The case around Christian Heidecker highlights the legal repercussions of abuse of power and bribery. It underscores the challenges within law enforcement. If you or someone you know faces similar charges, expert defense is vital. At The Law Offices Of Arash Hashemi, we specialize in defending various criminal charges. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact us today at (310) 448-1529. Schedule a consultation with our team. Located in Westside Towers in LA, our office is minutes from Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood and steps away from the Expo/Bundy Station. We have flexible hours and offer weekend appointments, and we will visit you in jail for consultation on your case.

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