A judge has ordered a San Francisco man to stand trial on charges that he pretended to be a police officer and forced other men to engage in sexual acts with him, among other counts.
Judge Gerardo Sandoval ruled Thursday (October 16) that there was “sufficient, credible evidence” to sustain most of the 39 charges against Jeffrey Bugai, 35.
The orders followed several days of testimony from six of the seven alleged victims.
Among other counts, Sandoval held Bugai to answer accusations of sodomy by anesthesia or a controlled substance, forcible oral copulation, and impersonating a public officer.
Sandoval dismissed some counts, including those alleging he’d committed the crimes “under the color of authority,” essentially threatening some men that if they didn’t have sex with him, they’d be arrested, incarcerated, or deported.
The men who testified said they believed Bugai was a cop, and some said after he took them to his apartment, he made them drink something they suspect was drugged.
Police Sergeant Sean Perdomo testified Thursday that a former roommate of Bugai’s has said he saw Bugai putting pills in people’s drinks.
One alleged victim, identified in court as Miguel M., 26, testified last week that 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, and Bugai soon took Miguel’s penis and penetrated himself with it, he said.
He said he unsuccessfully tried to push him away and told him “No” during the incident, but “I had no strength.”
Bugai, who’s pleaded not guilty to the charges, has been in custody since his July arrest and is set to be arraigned October 30. His bail is $3 million.
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.
Police have said Bugai targeted Central American immigrants with “limited English speaking” skills who had recently arrived in the United States.
The alleged incidents occurred from January 2008 through March 2014, according to the complaint prosecutors filed against Bugai in September.
According to court records, Bugai changed his name to Jeffrey Thomas in 2011.