The preliminary hearing for a former Huntington Beach police officer accused of 20 felony counts, including rape and sodomy, began last week with his ex-wife taking the stand.
The prosecution and defense questioned former Officer James Roberts III's ex-wife Aug. 12 and Friday in front of Superior Court Judge Richard J. Beacom at Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. A preliminary hearing is where prosecutors present evidence to a judge, who rules if the case is strong enough to go to trial.
Roberts, 34, is charged with alleged acts against his wife, an alleged mistress and another man while serving as an officer with the Police Department. He pleaded not guilty Feb. 26 to rape, forcible sodomy, false imprisonment by violence or deceit, criminal threats, domestic battery, aggravated assault, dissuading a witness and vandalism.
He faces a maximum sentence of 23 years and four months in prison, if convicted on all charges.