Six Women Accuse San Diego Sheriff's Deputy Of Sexual Misconduct
This is KPBS Midday Edition I Maureen Cavanaugh. The number is now up to six. Six women are accusing a San Diego County Sheriff deputy of sexual misconduct ranging from fondling to invasive body searches. The sheriffs department says it first became aware of the allegations against deputy Richard Fisher last month. The department says an investigation is under way. Joining me is KPBS Investigative reporter Amita Sharma who spoke to one of the alleged victims.It's good to be here, Maureen.Who did you speak with and what should she tell you?I spoke with a woman who was identified as KP and her lawsuit. She says deputy Fisher arrested her for drug possession. He did a body shirt search of her three times with each of the search is becoming progressively more invasive. Here is what she says happened .when he searched me, he searched me in a very long and inappropriately. He put his hands in between my legs and rubbed all of my leg, he put his hands in my sweatshirt and on top of my T-shirt and was rubbing my back and down the sides of my torso. He when he took my seat belt off, he groped my breast and pulled his arm across them. He stopped down a dark alley on the way to gel, and he turned around and asked me if I was scared. And then he pretended like he did not know how to get there. He searched my cell phone. And was asking me if I had new pictures on their desk nude pictures on there.I should add that after KP was released from custody and fought the charges, she stated that he would drive by her house slowly at night driving -- shining his lights into her home and she interpreted that of him wanted to convey his presence. In another instance he pulled up next to her at a stoplight and revved his engine.What are the other five women saying deputy Fisher did and are there similarities?There are similarities. One woman said Fisher arrived at a home following a 911 call of her mother suffering a stroke. Her dad died two days earlier. She said Fisher fondled her and asked her for a kiss and she said no. She alleges that he tried to kiss her anyway. And other one is alleging that deputy Fisher fondled her three times while in the car. That is similar to what KP described. There is also a case of a woman whose home was burglarized. She says deputy Fisher arrived to investigate with another Deputy. He showed up an hour later. She says he hugged her with both arms and pulled her tightly into his chest. And another woman says deputy Fisher came to her place during a welfare check as in a previous instance. She said that he told her she was cute and asked her for a hug. She said he asked for a second and a third hug. She said no and asked him to leave. And then an additional ledge case, a woman says Fisher came to her home after she had called the sheriffs department to report domestic violence. She claims deputy Fisher fondled her and then put her hand on his crotch.It any of the women complain of the treatment they claimed they received right after it happened.KP said she did. She says in March 2016 she wrote a letter to the internal affairs -- affairs division. Outlining what happened to her. No one in the department contacted her. Another accuser complained to one of deputy Fisher's colleagues. There appears to be some dispute about how responsive the colleague was.How did the story come out? How did the number of women grow to six?I believe the UT published the story a while back about one of the accusers. After that, word spread. And then additional women came forward.What do we know about deputy Fisher?Not very much. It appears that he work works or worked on the K-9 unit. And east 39 years old.How is the sheriffs department handling these claims?The spokesperson said a criminal investigation has been opened. Deputy Fisher has been placed on administrative assignment. He still has his badge and his gun. The spokesman also said that the department takes the allegations very seriously. And a decision or the appropriate action would be taken at the end of the investigation.Are the women in the process of suing the County over these allegations?They are. They are in various stages. In the process some have filed claims and some have filed lawsuits it will progress from there.I've been speaking with Amita Sharma. Armies the thank you.Thank you.
At least six women have accused a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy of sexual misconduct.
The department has opened a criminal probe into allegations that Deputy Richard Fischer behaved in a sexually inappropriate way with women during arrests, welfare checks and a burglary investigation.
“Allegations of this nature are taken very seriously,” said sheriff’s department spokesman Ryan Keim. “The department will take any appropriate actions at the conclusion of the investigation.”
San Diego lawyer Dan Gilleon said he represents six women, ranging in age from 28 to 64, who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Fischer.
But sheriff’s spokesman Keim said the law bars him from revealing how many women have complained to the department about Fischer.
“The department placed Deputy Fischer on an administrative assignment and initiated concurrent administrative and criminal investigations immediately upon learning of the first allegation which was received in late October 2017,” Keim wrote in an email to KPBS.
But one of Fischer’s accusers, identified in a lawsuit as K.P., said she first notified the sheriff’s department about Fischer in March 2016 but never heard back.
K.P. said Fischer ran his hands across her breast as he unbuckled her seatbelt after driving her to Las Colinas Jail. She alleges he had told her just moments earlier, “I hope I’m not making you uncomfortable ... if I accidentally cop a feel, it’s an accident.”
K.P. also alleged that Fischer subjected her to three body searches, each one progressively more invasive.
Another woman accused Fischer of fondling her and trying to kiss her during a welfare check following a 911 call seeking help for her mother who had suffered a stroke. The woman was also grieving for her father who had passed away two days earlier.
A third woman said Fischer groped her and put her hand on his crotch after she had placed a domestic violence call to the sheriff’s department.
A fourth woman said Fischer fondled her after arresting her. A fifth woman said the deputy visited her after investigating a burglary at her home and hugged her twice with both arms, squeezing her tightly and pulling her into his chest. A sixth woman accused Fischer of hugging her twice during a welfare check in a way she described as “grabby.”
K.P. said she is surprised Fischer has not yet been arrested considering how many women have accused him of misconduct
“If he was anybody else, he would’ve been arrested,” she said.
Her lawyer, Gilleon, said he’s not surprised.
“Everybody asks the police to police their own, but they don’t,” he said. “They protect their own.”
KPBS reached out to Fischer for comment but did not hear back.