Former San Jose code enforcement officer arrested on sex assault, extortion charges

A former San Jose code enforcement officer has been arrested on sex assault and extortion charges after five victims came forward to report his behavior, San Jose police said on Thursday. 

William Gerry self-surrendered Wednesday and was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on a warrant for multiple counts of sexual assault, extortion, and asking for and receiving a bribe. His bail was set by a magistrate at $550,000. Efforts to reach Gerry or his attorney were not immediately successful. 

The San Jose Police Department was contacted by multiple victims who reported being sexually assaulted by suspect Gerry in San Jose. Police did not specify when these assaults occurred. 

William Gerry, former San Jose code enforcement officer

The victims, who were business owners in San Jose, Cupertino and Union City, also reported their businesses being extorted by Gerry while he was on duty as a code enforcement officer, police said. Police did not specify what these alleged extortion schemes entailed. 

But the Mercury News reported a woman contacted investigators in July that Gerry extorted $34,000 from her between January and April 2019. She told police that he insisted he pay her that amount to keep her business open. During several visits when he collected payments, she alleged, he forced her to have oral sex and intercourse with him.

The woman also told police that Gerry would alert her to when the police vice unit was planning to conduct enforcement visits on massage businesses to bust up sex workers, the Mercury News reported. 

Gerry resigned from his position last spring, the Mercury News reported. And at some point he moved to Texas. 

Not long after, the city received a tort claim sexual assault complaint involving Gerry that was rejected by the city, citing insufficient corroboration.  That summer, police reported getting more anonymous whistleblower letters, stating that Gerry was “protecting” several businesses and alleging “he will alert massage parlors when the police are coming to conduct a check on them, and payments are due at the beginning of the month.”

San Jose police said detective found Gerry in McKinney, Texas, where sheriff's deputies anad police there served a search warrant on his home. 

No more details were released. 

Anyone with information about these cases or other cases involving this suspect is asked to contact Detective Lam #4420 of the San Jose Police Department’s Sexual Assaults Investigation Unit at 408-277-4102.