A unidentified woman has filed a claim for more than $6 million against San Diego County alleging she was sexually assaulted by a deputy sent to her home in the middle of the night to check on her welfare.
According to the complaint, the woman was “rubbed and fondled” by a deputy who returned to the home at 4 a.m. on Aug. 20, about an hour after leaving the woman’s home following what’s called a welfare check.
A spokesman said Sheriff Bill Gore is aware of the complaint and placed the deputy on administrative assignment while an investigation is conducted. Gore has previously featured the deputy on social media.
The department does not comment on pending litigation or investigations, but holds employees to the highest standards, the spokesman said. U-T Watchdog left several telephone messages for Deputy Richard Fischer that were not returned.
Deputies were sent to the claimant’s home after a miscommunication during a telephone call between the woman and her father, the claim said. The deputies determined that the woman was fine and left.
The claim alleges that Fischer returned to the house by himself an hour or so later and knocked on the door.
“Fischer lied to her and said he needed to use her restroom,” the claim states. “Jane Doe let him into her home, but immediately realized the restroom claim was just a ruse to get in the house.”
The deputy told the woman, “I think you’re cute,” and then hugged her for 10 seconds without consent, rubbing his chest against hers, the claim states.
Then, “Fischer’s hands rubbed and fondled Jane Doe’s torso, shoulders, arms, back and buttocks,” the claim adds. “After the hug was over, Fischer looked at her and commented again that he thought she was good looking.”
The deputy hugged the woman again, and she resisted more aggressively, the claim said.
“Jane Doe was terrified, yet she was able to order Fischer to leave her home,” the complaint states. “In total, Fischer was in Jane Doe’s house for 7 to 10 minutes.”
Allegations against the Sheriff’s Department include sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment and infliction of emotional distress, among others. The woman’s attorney is Dan Gilleon.
Such cases can be costly for government agencies. In 2014, the City of San Diego agreed to pay $5.9 million to a woman who said she was groped in a 7-Eleven restroom by one of its police officers.