A San Diego sheriff’s deputy is under criminal investigation, as two additional women have come forward with legal claims alleging that he groped them.
While researchers run different internal and probes of the accusations, Deputy Richard Fischer was put on administrative leave by Sheriff Bill Gore, a department spokesman said.
The county of San Diego faces a suit and two claims, which are needed to be filed in advance of civil litigation. Could cost the county millions of dollars in settlements.
Said the victims came forward earlier this month, after the claim was reported by U-T Watchdog.
“The only reason that they talked out was due to each other,” Gilleon stated in an email Monday. “They discovered courage in each other’s willingness to come forward.”
Fischer, 31, hasn’t responded to requests for comment. A man who said he was Fischer’s father told U-T Watchdog by telephone that he would pass along a request to explore the situation.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Keim issued a statement concerning the allegations that were Growing.
“The section put Deputy Fischer on an administrative assignment and initiated concurrent criminal and administrative investigations immediately upon learning of the first allegation that was obtained in late October 2017,” the statement said.
“Deputy Fischer is now on administrative leave while the department conducts a comprehensive investigation of every complaint,” the statement went on. “The section is banned by law from releasing specific details of personnel investigations. However, allegations of this nature are taken quite seriously and the section will take any appropriate actions at the close of the investigation.”
Gilleon said department officials were slow to respond to the allegations from Fischer. The deputy’s behavior was reported by one of his clients according to records.
“The Sheriff’s Department is not going out there hoping to find other victims,” the lawyer said by email. “Rather, it appears they commence an investigation only when I inform them that there is another victim.”
Gilleon enrolled his concern with both the District Attorney’s Office and with Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors. A spokeswoman for District Attorney Summer Stephan declined to state whether the office is exploring Fischer; a spokesman for Jacob said the manager couldn’t comment because of lawsuit and the investigation.
The most recent allegation comes from a San Marcos woman, on whose benefit Gilleon registered a claim against county officials.
According to the claim, the girl’s mother suffered a stroke days after her husband’s passing. According to the claim, the deputy responded to a 911 call linked to the stroke, and he “removed his coat as though he intended to stay a little while.”
According to the claim, the deputy told the woman “she was ‘sexy’ and that she needed a hug. Without her permission, he then hugged (her) having a full embrace that comprised fondling of her buttocks with his hands and improper massaging of her breasts with his own chest.”
The U-T includes a policy against naming victims of sexual crimes, although the woman is identified by the claim.
According to the claim, the woman “pushed Dep. Fischer away but he awakened. He asked her for a kiss, and when she said no, he tried to kiss her anyway.” The claim says that the woman “was horrified and terrified that he leave, but before he complied, Dep. Fischer educated (her) that he would be in the neighborhood watching out to her, a clear attempt to bully her into keeping quiet about his criminal behavior.”
The claim seeks more than $6 million, and “punitive damages against Dep. Fischer in an amount sufficient to punish him and his evil conduct, and also to deter others from doing exactly what he did.”
The claim references a suit filed in which another woman asserts she was repeatedly groped by Fischer during an unwarranted arrest in November 2015. She stated Fischer continued to harass her, beaming a light within the residence and driving beyond her home.
According to the complaint, the behavior was reported by the woman to the sheriff’s Internal Affairs office at March 2016 and nothing had been done. The claim from the San Marcos lady maintains that the county failed to act after the prior complaint.
Sexual harassment cases could be costly for local authorities. San Diego’s town paid more than $8 million in 2014 to settle claims filed by 13 women that a police officer groped or molested them. The 18-year department veteran served approximately half an hour before being released on good behavior, and was sentenced to more than eight years in state prison.
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