Kern County Deputies Accused of Sexual Assault

Discussion in 'Other Local Incidents of Police Abuse & Misconduct' started by M, May 12, 2013.

  1. M

    M Muckraker Staff Member

    More abuse of residents by Kern County's misfits in blue, now in the form of sexual assaults. At least these women weren't beaten to death.


    KERO (5/10/2013): Claim filed against Kern County Sheriff's deputy for sexual assault in Tehachapi: Second girl came forward saying she was touched

    A civil case has been filed against the deputy accused of sexually assaulting Tehachapi women while on duty.

    Deputy Gabriel Lopez was first charged with improperly touching the 21-year-old Tehachapi woman on March 25. And while the criminal case is on-going, the alleged victim is seeking damages.

    Lopez and another deputy were responding to a reports of a break in.

    Lopez told the woman that he needed to search her. That is when he allegedly groped her.
    Then the victim claims that Lopez re-entered her house and strip searched her.

    [What is the name of this 2nd deputy, and why is he not also being held responsible for these incidents? Looking the other way and protecting the "thin blue line" must come to an end.]

    After reports of that incident came out, a second victim came forward.

    An 18-year-old girl said that Deputy Lopez showed up to a domestic disturbance call on March 26.

    Lopez was allegedly searching that woman and she claims that he then also improperly touched her.

    Lopez is due back in court in June for the next phase in the criminal case.

    To read the full claim, go here: http://bit.ly/17asEnh

    To read the original story of the incident, go here: http://bit.ly/10nJTjn


    Edited to add: The claim below that was filed by attorney David K. Cohn names the other deputy as "DEPUTY ESCOBEDO". One possible match in the 2008 employee roster & email address spreadsheets is:

    Deputy Christopher Escobedo, EscobedoC@kernsheriff.com
  2. M

    M Muckraker Staff Member

    Below is the full text of the body of the claim filed by Bakersfield attorney David K. Cohn on behalf of "Jane Doe". The original appears to be have been a fax or low-quality office copy, and the text in the PDF file was not machine-readable, so I had to transcribe it. The original PDF (4.5 MB) is available at the bottom of this post.

    On or about March 25, 2013, at approximately 10:30 p.m., claimant, JANE DOE, was
    asleep in her apartment at her residence in Tehachapi, CA. She woke up when she heard her dog
    barking and asked her guest, JOHN DOE, to check and make sure that everything was okay. At
    this point, JOHN DOE held the dog by its collar and opened the front door of JANE DOE's
    apartment, to check and see if anyone was outside. JOHN DOE saw two Sheriff's Deputies
    approaching the apartment. Without permission, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO and DEPUTY LOPEZ
    entered JANE DOE's apartment. Both DEPUTY ESCOBEDO and DEPUTY LOPEZ are
    Sheriff's Deputies employed by the COUNTY OF KERN. On or about March 25, 2013,
    DEPUTY ESCOBEDO and DEPUTY LOPEZ were acting within the course and scope of their
    employment with the COUNTY OF KERN.

    After entering the apartment, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO and DEPUTY LOPEZ instructed
    JOHN DOE to place the dog in the apartment's bathroom. JOHN DOE complied with their
    request, at which point DEPUTY LOPEZ proceeded to conduct a patdown search of JOHN
    DOE in the living room. In the processof searching JOHN DOE, DEPUTY LOPEZ discovered
    drugs on JOHN DOE, and immediately placed him in handcuffs. Once handcuffed, DEPUTY
    ESCOBEDO asked JOHN DOE whether anyone else was in the apartment, and JOHN DOE
    replied by stating that JANE DOE was also in the apartment, but that she was asleep in her
    bedroom. After hearing this information, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO proceeded to enter JANE
    DOE's bedroom and turn on the lights. He instructed her to get up from bed and follow him
    into the living room. Then, while she was in the living room, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO conducted
    a pat down search of JANE DOE. JANE DOE was searing a black short-sleeve t-shirt and jean
    shorts. After conducting the pat down search, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO placed her in handcuffs.

    With both JANE DOE and JOHN DOE handcuffed in the living room, DEPUTY
    ESCOBEDO repeatedly accused JANE DOE of being under the influence of drugs and
    threatened her with the possibility of going to jail for being under the influence of drugs or in
    possession of drugs. In the meantime, DEPUTY LOPEZ began searching JANE DOE's
    bedroom and came across a locked red chest. At this point DEPUTY ESCOBEDO left the
    apartment to retrieve his parked patrol vehicle. After DEPUTY ESCOBEDO left the apartment,
    DEPUTY LOPEZ instructed JANE DOE to follow him into her bedroom to open the red chest
    which was padlocked.

    While JOHN DOE remained in the living room, JANE DOE, still handcuffed, complied
    with DEPUTY LOPEZ's command and followed him into her bedroom. Instead of asking JANE
    DOE to unlock the red chest, DEPUTY LOPEZ instead asked JANE DOE if she had already
    been patted down by DEPUTY ESCOBEDO. Despite her responding affirmatively to having
    been previously patted down, and her telling him that she had done nothing wrong, DEPUTY'
    LOPEZ nevertheless proceeded to perform another pat down search while JANE DOE was still
    handcuffed. However, this time, the pat down search was exceedingly intrusive, as described
    herein below.

    DEPUTY LOPEZ first asked JANE DOE to spread her legs apart while she was standing.
    After JANE DOE complied with his request, DEPUTY LOPEZ proceeded to pat her down along
    the inside of her legs, and grabbed her crotch. DEPUTY LOPEZ then placed his hands under
    JANE DOE's t-shirt and began to touch her underneath the front part of her bra, even touching
    her breasts. Then, while JANE DOE was still handcuffed, DEPUTY LOPEZ proceeded to pull
    forward the front part of her shorts and pull backward the back part of her shorts. DEPUTY
    LOPEZ then struct his hand down the front part of her shorts and felt under her crotch.
    DEPUTY LOPEZ then pulled open the back part of her shorts and stuck his hand down her
    shorts and again touched her under her crotch from the back end. DEPUTY LOPEZ knew full
    well that such a pat down search of a female detainee was a clear violation of KERN COUNTY
    SHERIFF's OFFICE rules, regulations and procedures.

    While DEPUTY LOPEZ and JANE DOE were still in her bedroom, DEPUTY
    ESCOBEDO returned to the apartment, where JOHN DOE was still sitting handcuffed in the
    living room. Approximately two to three minutes after DEPUTY ESCOBEDO returned to the
    apartment, DEPUTY LOPEZ left JANE DOE in the bedroom and walked into the living room,
    without ever having her unlock the red chest which he had initially asked her to open. A few
    minutes later, DEPUTY LOPEZ instructed JANE DOE to come into the living room, at which
    point he removed her handcuffs. DEPUTY LOPEZ and DEPUTY ESCOBEDO then left JANE
    DOE's apartment with JOHN DOE.

    Approximately ten minutes after everyone had left the apartment, and while JANE DOE
    was in her bedroom, she again heard her dog barking. She walked into her living room to check
    on her dog and saw that DEPUTY LOPEZ had returned and was sticking his head inside her
    apartment. After securing her dog, JANE DOE asked DEPUTY LOPEZ what he wanted.
    DEPUTY LOPEZ told her that she needed her driver's license, so that he could check to see if
    there were any arrested warrants in her name. As JANE DOE went to her bedroom to retrieve her
    driver's license, she noticed that DEPUTY LOPEZ, without her permission, had entered her
    apartment and followed her into her bedroom. After handing him her driver's license, JANE
    DOE witnessed DEPUTY LOPEZ walk into the living room and heard him state her name into
    his radio. DEPUTY LOPEZ then returned to JANE DOE's bedroom and told her that it might take
    some time for the Sheriff's Department to run a search on her name. DEPUTY LOPEZ then
    asked JANE DOE if she knew what a body cavity search was. She begrudgingly acknowledged
    that she knew what it was. DEPUTY LOPEZ then told JANE DOE that she would need to
    submit to a body cavity search. At this point, JANE DOE repeatedly told DEPUTY LOPEZ that
    she was uncomfortable with such a search and that she had not done anything wrong.
    Nevertheless, DEPUTY LOPEZ told her that she had no choice. He then instructed her to place
    her dog in the bedroom and then follow him into her second bedroom.

    After JANE DOE placed her dog in her bedroom, DEPUTY LOPEZ then closed the door
    to the bedroom and escorted JANE DOE to the second bedroom. After entering the second
    bedroom, JANE DOE again implored DEPUTY LOPEZ to not go forward with a body cavity
    search. Refusing her request, DEPUTY LOPEZ, knowing full well that it would be a violation
    of KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE rules, regulations and procedures to perform such a
    search on a female detainee, nevertheless instructed JANE DOE to take off her t-shirt. Shaking
    and beginning to cry, JANE DOE removed her t-shirt, at which point DEPUTY LOPEZ also told
    her that she needed to remove her bra. JANE DOE then began to cry more, and asked DEPUTY
    LOPEZ why she was being subjected to such a search. A nonresponsive DEPUTY LOPEZ then
    felt under the rim of her bra while JANE DOE stood in front of a bed in the bedroom

    After allowing JANE DOE to put her bra and t-short back on, DEPUTY LOPEZ then
    instructed her to take off her shorts. At this point, JANE DOE asked DEPUTY LOPEZ if she
    could use a towel to cover up. DEPUTY LOPEZ denied her request. Crying uncontrollably and
    feeling intimidated and scared, JANE DOE that she also needed to remove her underwear.
    After JANEZ DOE was bent over with her hands propped against the edge of the bed,
    DEPUTY LOPEZ proceeded to use his hand to manipulate JANE DOE's buttocks, to view and
    then touch her vagina and anus. After the body cavity search, DEPUTY LOPEZ left JANE
    DOE's apartment, without communicating with JANE DOE any further or finishing the records
    check.

    The following morning, on or about March 26, 2013, at approximately 7 a.m., JANE
    DOE called the Tehachapi division of the KERN COUNTY SHERIFF's OFFICE to report the
    incident, but was unable to speak with anyone. Later that evening, at approximately 5:30 p.m.,
    JANE DOE phoned the Bakersfield division of the KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE to
    report the incident. During this call, she left a voicemail describing in detail what DEPUTY
    LOPEZ had done to her on or about March 25, 2013. It was not until mid-day on March 27,
    2013 that JANE DOE was eventually contacted by someone from the Tehachapi division of the
    KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE.

    The injuries sustained by JANE DOE from the foregoing incident involve physical,
    mental, and emotional distress, pain, shock, agony, suffering, and trauma; deprivation of civil
    rights and freedomes, including loss of liberty and false imprisonment; and general damages in an
    amount in excessof $10,000. With respect to DEPUTY LOPEZ and DEPUTY ESCOBEDO,
    JANE DOE also requests exemplary damages, pursuant to California Civil Code section 3294.

    In light of the foregoing, claimant, JANE DOE, contends that she was sexually assaulted
    by DEPUTY LOPEZ under color of authority, and that DEPUTY LOPEZ was in the course
    and scope of his employment with the COUNTY OF KERN at the time that the sexual assault
    took place. Moreover, JANE DOE contends that DEPUTY ESCOBEDO personally,
    perceived, and was aware of such conduct, and:

    (a) Knowingly, willfully, intentionally and/or negligently failed and refused to intervene
    or make any effort to stop or prevent other such members, employees and/or agents
    from sexually assaulting, battering, and/or negligently touching JANE DOE.

    (b) Knowingly, willfully, intentionally and/or negligently failed and refused to timely and
    properly report the wrongful conduct of other such memberss, employees and/or
    agents; and

    (c) Knowingly, willfully and intentionally aided, abetted and entered into a conspiracy to
    sexually assault, batter and inflict emotional distress on JANE DOE, as well as
    conceal and "cover up" the wrongful conduct of other such members, employees
    and/or agents.

    JANE DOE also contends that the COUNTY OF KERN was negligent in hiring, training,
    and supervising DEPUTY LOPEZ. Both the KERN COUNTY SHERIFF's OFFICE and the
    COUNTY OF KERN are responsible for implementing, maintaining, sanctioning and/or
    condoning a policy, custom or practice under which the deputies committed the aforementioned
    illegal or wrongful acts. The KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE and the COUNTO OF
    KERN maintained or premitted an official policy or custom of knowlingly permitting the
    occurrence of the type of wrong set forth above, and based upon the principles set forth herein.

    Furthermore, the negligence and other wrongful conduct on the part of DEPUTY
    LOPEN, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO, the KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, the COUNTY OF
    KERN, and each of them, is not limited to those negligent/intentional acts or omissions on the
    part of the known and unknown public employees involved in the assaulting and battering, but
    also includes the negligent hiring, retaining, appointing, selecting, training, disciplining and/or
    supervising of their deputies, officers, employees and/or agents. The KERN COUNTY
    SHERIFF'S OFFICE and the COUNTY OF KERN had constructive or actual ntoice of
    DEPUTY LOPEZ's prior misconduct, and their failure to take appropriate measures in response
    to such instances like the one that forms the basis of this claim. The foregoing acts and omissions on the
    part of the KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE and the COUNTY OF KERN, and each of
    them, were the direct, proximate and legal cause of the damages sustained by JANE DOE.

    JANE DOE alleges the following against DEPUTY LOPEZ, DEPUTY ESCOBEDO, the
    KERN COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, and the COUNTY OF KERN: (1) unreasonable and
    excessive use of force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, purstuant to 42
    U.S.C. sections 1983, 1988; (2) conspiracy to violate civil rights under federal law, pursuant to 42
    U.S.C. sections 1983, 1988; (3) violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code section 51.7;
    (4) gender violence in violation of California Civil Code section 52.4; (5) sexual battery in violation of
    California Civil Code section 1708.5; (6) sexual harassment in violation of civil code section section 51.9; (7)
    violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code sections 51, 52; (8) violation of the
    Bane Civil Rights Act, California Civil Code section 52.1; (9) assault, under California law; (10)
    battery, under California law; (11) false imprisonment, under California law; (12) intentional
    infliction of emotional distress; under California law; (13) alternative cause of action for fraud,
    under California law; (14) negligence, under California law; (15) breach of contract, under
    California law; and (16) conspiracy, under California law.

    Jurisdiction of this claim lies in the United States District, Eastern District of
    California, under 42 U.S.C. sections 1983, 1988, purstuant to 28 U.S.C. secxtions 1331, 1342. The United
    States District Court, Eastern District of California, has supplemental jurisdiction over California
    state law claims purstuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1376(a).

Share This Page

submit to reddit      Digg This          Delicious