Former Chowchilla police officer faces five counts of raping underage girl

A former Chowchilla police officer remained behind bars Wednesday facing five felony charges for the alleged repeated rape of a girl under 14 years old.

Tyler Hormel, 35, was booked into Madera County Jail by sheriff’s detectives around 4:20 p.m. Monday. His bail was set at $500,000.

Madera County District Attorney David Linn said Hormel’s charges were updated Wednesday to five felony counts of rape using force or fear of immediate injury.

“This is a very unfortunate case in which a peace officer is involved,” Linn said in a statement. “Even though as a peace officer he should have known better than to commit these crimes, he will be held accountable as any other citizen would be.”

Hormel, previously assigned as a resource officer at schools in the City of Chowchilla, was also fired upon completion of an internal investigation Wednesday.

“I am deeply saddened by the arrest,” Chowchilla Police Chief Dave Riviere said in a release. “My heart goes out to the victim, the family of the victim, the Hormel family, the staff at the policy department, city staff, the school district, and the entire Chowchilla community.”

Riviere added the Chowchilla Police Department is dedicated and professional, and behavior like Hormel’s alleged offenses, or any behavior unbecoming of a law enforcement officer, will never be tolerated.

Sheriff’s officials said the alleged intercourse took place away from any locations Hormel was assigned.

“This circumstance is still under investigation however there is currently no evidence that indicates that any of the alleged criminal conduct occurred while he was on duty or acting in an official capacity,” Sheriff Jay Varney said.

Varney added the Chowchilla Police Department was fully cooperative in the investigation.

Hormel’s preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 26, in Department 21 with Judge Joseph Soldani.