Sheriff’s sergeant arrested for domestic violence

Visalia Police Department arrests Sgt. Richard Ramirez for allegedly abusing his girlfriend over the last year and a half

By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN

VISALIA – A Tulare County Sheriff’s sergeant has been arrested for domestic violence.

On Sept. 6, the Visalia Police Department arrested Sgt. Richard Ramirez for allegedly abusing his girlfriend. The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department immediately placed Ramirez on administrative leave and said the Visalia Police Department will be handling the criminal investigation.

“Because this is a criminal investigation, Sheriff Boudreaux cannot comment any further,” the department said in a released statement that same day. “However, the Sheriff will always hold the personnel of the Sheriff’s Office to the highest of standards.”

Ramirez has been charged with seven felony counts, including three counts of dissuading a witness, two counts of spousal abuse, one count of stalking, as well as one count of misdemeanor battery and one count of misdemeanor of making a harassing phone call.

Sgt. Gary Williams, public information officer for the Visalia Police Department, said the charges are related to three domestic violence incidents involving Ramirez and his girlfriend. The first happened in May 2018 outside of the city limits and the other two happened the April and June in Visalia. The May incident is related to a report of injuring a cohabitant and dissuading the girlfriend from reporting the abuse. On April 15, Williams said officers found the girlfriend with a serious bump on her head and Ramirez allegedly prevented his girlfriend from reporting the crime twice that evening. On June 4, Williams said officers found the girlfriend with redness to her chest and stomach for the battery charge.

When asked if there was any way Ramirez and his girlfriend could have both been aggressors, Williams said VPD works hard to identify the aggressor, including the person who initiated the attack.

“People have a right to defend themselves but someone starts the altercation,” Williams said. “[Ramirez] is not considered the victim in any of these incidences.”

All three occurred while Ramirez was employed by the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department refused to comment on Ramirez’s employment history with the department. The department did release the following statement: “An internal affairs investigation has been started, which does not allow us to elaborate any further on the circumstances surrounding the criminal investigation.”

Ramirez was arrested on Sept. 6 with a bail of $250,000. He posted bail later that same day. Ramirez will return to court today, Sept. 25 for an out-of-custody arraignment. Ramirez is facing up to 6 years and 4 months in prison for the crimes.

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