SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - A San Diego County Sheriff's deputy sexually assaulted a woman inside her home after he was sent to check on her welfare, the woman said in a claim filed against San Diego County.
The complaint by the unidentified "Jane Doe" alleges that Deputy Richard Fischer "rubbed and fondled" her on Aug. 20. It claims Fischer was sent to her home with other deputies about 4 a.m. for a welfare check, but he returned alone an hour later and asked to be let inside.
"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."
"After he used the bathroom, he took that opportunity to fondle her without her consent. [He] rubbed himself against her breast, touched her buttocks," said Marlea Dell'Anno.
Dell'Anno, who is "Jane Doe's" attorney, said the deputy came to Doe's home in a Sheriff's department SUV which the department can track using GPS.
"We believe that will corroborate her story," said Dell'Anno.
Fischer told the woman he thought she was cute, hugged her for 10 seconds without consent and then rubbed his hands down her torso, shoulders, arms, back and buttocks. After the hug, he told her again he thought she was good looking, then hugged her again; the woman resisted more aggressively the second time.
"Jane Doe was terrified, yet she was able to order Fischer to leave her home," according to the complaint. "In total, Fischer was in Jane Doe's house for 7 to 10 minutes."
In a statement to News 8, the Sheriff's Department acknowledged the claim stating that Fisher was "immediately moved to an administrative assignment upon notification of the complaint. The department holds all of our employees to the highest standards and is in the process of conducting a prompt and thorough investigation into the allegations."
"I think now, they are doing the right thing, but it is unfortunate that it took so long to get to this point. At some point there has to be a message that this cannot happen. You have to stop it," said Dell'Anno.
The alleged victim is seeking more than six million dollars in damages against the deputy and the Sherrif's Department.
Back in 2014, the City of San Diego agreed to pay $5.9 million to a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by former officer Anthony Arevalos in a Seven-Eleven restroom.