Fake cop arrested for alleged rape; police believe more victims possible

HPD says the suspect impersonated a police officer to gain the victim's trust

HOUSTON - A Katy man is accused of posing as a police officer and sexually assaulting a woman, and investigators believe there could be more victims.

Police say the suspect flashed what appeared to be a badge, and offered to take a woman home after she pulled into a gas station with a flat tire.

The suspect has been identified as Francisco Jose Ugarte. Police said they aren't releasing a photo because they didn't want to compromise any future lineups. However, they did release a photo of his vehicle, a 2008 maroon BMW.

"Any females who have encountered that car, with the description of the man, we urge you to call us," said HPD Officer Art Mejia.

Police said a 31-year-old woman told them a man approached her at an Exxon gas station at I-10 and Dairy Ashford after she pulled in with a flat tire. It happened around 1:30am Oct. 10. The woman told police the man appeared to flash a badge, asked for her ID, and told her she shouldn't be driving in her condition. He then offered to drive her home.

"During the ride, he's telling her, 'I'm in law enforcement, I'm a police officer. You shouldn't be out this late,' And then he does not start going the direction of her home and she knows she's in trouble," said Mejia.

Police say the suspect took the woman to the roof of an unknown parking garage and sexually assaulted her. After the assault, she was able to make it back to the gas station and get help.

Based on their investigation, they believe it may not have been the suspect's first time posing as an officer.

"How he presented himself to the victim. It seems so cool, so convincing, like he had done it before. She was convinced and she had the confidence that he was a police officer," said Mejia.

Police said surveillance video from the gas station helped identity Ugarte as a person of interest and he was then positively identified by the victim in a photo lineup. He was arrested Oct. 12.

Ugarte, 46, is described as 5 foot 7, 175 pounds with a light complexion, straight dark hair, a medium build and he was not clean shaven.

He is charged with two counts of sexual assault

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