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Ex-Deputy Richard Fischer Pleads Guilty In Sexual Assault Trial And More Local News

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Former San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Fischer pleaded guilty Monday to sexually assaulting 16 women. In many cases, he was on duty and was dispatched to help women who were victims of a crime. Also, San Diego County children are slightly less obese than they were a decade ago, according to a new report. And, the Mexican city of Juárez, opposite El Paso, sees a diverse population of migrants waiting to get their asylum cases reviewed.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, September 10th. I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. A former San Diego sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to sexual assault and migrants from African countries who want asylum in the u s are holed up in Mexico is so painful, very painful this way. Contravention my story. They're not in Tijuana. They're in war as that. More San Diego news stories coming up right after the break.

Speaker 2: 00:31 Um,

Speaker 1: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welch, a former San Diego County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Monday to four felony and three misdemeanor charges. Richard Fischer was charged with sexually assaulting more than a dozen women he encountered while on patrol. Some of the women had been crime victims and he was the responding officer. KPBS investigative reporter Claire Tresor says the plea agreement came just as Fisher's trial was scheduled to begin in Vista. The charges Fisher pleaded to in total carry a maximum prison sentence of five years. As part of the plea agreement, a judge will determine whether he has to register as a sex offender. Back in 2007 for a Fisher's accusers, spoke to KPBS. Here is one of them describing what happened.

Speaker 3: 01:24 He put me in the car and as he's putting the seatbelt on, he fondled me and said, I hope your husband doesn't mind. And at that moment I was just thinking, well, what's gonna Happen? Am I gonna, you know, get raped. I mean, that's not a normal interaction with a cop.

Speaker 1: 01:38 In the end, Fisher was accused of assaulting 16 women district attorney. Summer Stephan declined an interview request, but said in a statement, the plea deal meets the wishes of the overwhelming number of victims. Claire Trigere, Sir KPBS News migration through the US Mexico border plummeted last month to a little more than half of what it was during the height of apprehensions this past spring from the front terrorists desk in Tucson, Arizona, KJ [inaudible], Michelle Marie, SKO reports,

Speaker 4: 02:10 customs and border protection tallied about 64,000 people who were apprehended or who were turned away at the border in August. That's a drop of 56% from last mate when officials declared CVP was overwhelmed acting commissioner Mark Morgan credited agreements with Central American countries and with Mexico for much of the reduction, especially the controversial migrant protection protocols that force asylum seekers to await their term in Mexico. Here's a couple of key points at MPP. It discourages the abuse and exploitation of US laws and non meritorious are false asylum claims, but it's also led to bloodshed and it's migraines are targeted in some border cities while they wait to plead their case for asylum from Tucson. I'm chilling muddy school.

Speaker 1: 02:57 A group is calling for an investigation into Congressman Duncan Hunter in light of his claim that he probably killed hundreds of civilians while he was a marine serving in Iraq. KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman was there as people made their case outside hunters El Cahone office.

Speaker 5: 03:15 Yeah, Ma lock him up.

Speaker 6: 03:17 Dustin [inaudible] with a local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations says they collected more than 8,000 signatures asking for the House of Representatives to investigate hunter. I mean, it's clear that the level of things that he's done, he should, he should resign. He shouldn't. He's not a good representative of this county that someone who's literally a war criminal should be in prison. Hunter made these comments on the podcasts. Zero blog 30 in May, so I was an artillery officer and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, right, killed probably hundreds of civilians. The admission came while Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher was on trial for war crimes and like Gallagher hunter said he posed for photos with dead enemy combatants and military court acquitted Gallagher on all charges except for one relating to the photos. A spokesman for Hunter says the petition is a political stunt, Matt Hoffman, k PBS news.

Speaker 1: 04:01 The 8,000 signatures were collected online across the nation and delivered to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. San Diego's childhood overweight and obesity rate hasn't moved much in over a decade. KPBS science and technology reporter Shalina Celani asked county officials why that's the case

Speaker 5: 04:20 at the y MCA in southeast San Diego. There's typically folks exercising and kids on the playground, but on this day there is a conference and it's on a new report on a topic not typically discussed at the why childhood obesity, childhood obesity rates in our county are starting to dwindle, but when we still have one in three are that are still either overweight or obese, there's still so much more that we should do. That's page mets, the health and physical education coordinator for the county's Office of education. The counties childhood obesity initiative reports that the overweight and childhood obesity rate in San Diego is it 34% but that number is just two percentage points lower from the rate 14 years ago, so we've seen pockets where it's decreased, where there's been a very specific and very strategic approach. The problem is is that we need to make sure that we're, what we're doing is county wide. The office of education can inform school districts on best practices for physical education and nutrition, but it can't force them to implement changes. Says myths. Now she says the county's childhood obesity initiative is working on turning conversations at the top into actions at the ground level. Shalina Trelawney key PBS news,

Speaker 1: 05:30 federal officials have pinpointed the cause of a massive cross border sewage spill. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says the spill prompted the county to pose pollution warning sides. This past weekend,

Speaker 6: 05:42 United States officials say more than 94 million gallons of sewage tainted water float through the Tijuana River valley in the past six days. The international boundary and water commission says last week's monsoonal rains created runoff in the Tijuana River that overwhelmed the Mexican cities storm water system. Mexican officials turned off a key pump station last Wednesday, allowing runoff to cross the border into the United States. That pump was turned back on a day later, but the runoffs still overwhelmed the system. Uh, San Diego County pollution advisory for south county beaches has been posted since Friday. Eric Anderson KPBS News,

Speaker 1: 06:22 the Mexican city of war is opposite El Paso. Texas is a migrant gateway to the u s Mexican authorities say that since October last year, more than 17,000 people have arrived in warriors. Hoping to apply for asylum in the u s like in Tijuana, migrants names are placed on a list at each day. The U s tells Mexico how many people can have an asylum interview. A number of countries represented in war as has grown with people from Asia, Europe, and now Africa. The story from Lauren Milan,

Speaker 7: 06:54 this is the old bell gate. They went pustular, the good shepherd migrant shelter on the outskirts of town. It's spare and it's sweltering and people are hunkered down, withered, but seemingly undeterred central Americans and Cubans are here, but the migration mosaic in Juarez is changing. It now includes Asians and Europeans and people like John Fleeing alleged government, human rights abuses in Uganda, in eastern Africa. So the dash rounded us up. We never saw each other again. He claims police and soldiers took him and several others away from what he claims was a peaceful anti-government street demonstration. I bought some of the, I was detained for our own eight days. I didn't know where that they can me. I was stepped on key beaten. John and others from Uganda and Cameroon in Central Africa who were interviewed for this story asked that their last names not be published. They fear retribution against their families for speaking out. Human Rights Watch says Uganda is plagued by civil unrest and then Cameroon is in crisis, but the Africans here are just one segment of the migrant population. Mexican authorities say that since last year, more than 17,000 people have either passed through warriors on their way to the u s or waiting there for the opportunity to apply. Flom from Cameroon says he's fixated on one goal.

Speaker 8: 08:11 That's what preoccupies my main how to get to the u s

Speaker 7: 08:14 he says he's still trying to get to the first step in the asylum process known as a credible fear interview.

Speaker 8: 08:20 As soon as they get my story. Do believe me, I know Mickey did. So Abby Lodo fit. There's my power.

Speaker 7: 08:26 When Moussaka from Uganda, a 29 year old aviation executive arrived here. He said he and two friends went to the Paso del Norte Day Bridge, which connects Juarez and El Paso expecting to show up and declare their intent to seek asylum is what we thought. Two tours. Like if someone is seeking hoe and he gets to the border, the only thing is to take him in and then you provide security for the person. That's the way it's supposed to work under international and US lot. But it didn't happen because we had to go back and then wait for a time that we are permitted to go inside. The Ugandans described a rough trip, six months walking mostly at night through areas where organized crime praise on migrants. Oh, SICA claimed he'd seen migrants who died on the way. So coming to untreated injuries or sickness, I don't want to mention much about that. I only found God that I'm here and I'm started once people arrive, shelter director, one Viejo, got CSS fears the border could be sealed completely or causing tension. [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 09:26 the Americans say they may shut the border down. Yarrow says, President Donald Trump's threats in March and April to do just that and the move in July to effectively end asylum have set off a chain reaction. Migrants say human smugglers or leveraging that tension, telling people, considering the journey north to go. Now, Mr. Trump retreated both times on our border shutdown, but Fiato says they left their mark [inaudible] maintain the truth, cause some migraines to abandon the legal process and because illegally Tamra from Uganda says she won't do that, but as she won't return home saying she had faced torture or debt,

Speaker 9: 10:05 it's so painful. Very painful. That's why I can't even share my story.

Speaker 7: 10:10 Human Rights workers say that in 2018 Ugandan security forces tortured and arbitrarily detained protestors, members of the opposition and journalists, the same party has ruled Uganda since seizing power in 1986 for all these reasons, as Thomas says, the u s remains a beacon.

Speaker 9: 10:27 Good for her. I think this will be free and safe. It's where you'll be free and safe. Yes.

Speaker 7: 10:33 Had she crossed illegally before July 16th Tom or could have applied for asylum because she would have been physically in the United States. She'd have been able to stay in the u s until her application was either accepted or rejected. But by following the law and waiting in Mexico for her turn to have an asylum interview in El Paso, she's now stuck for KPBS. I'm Lauren, Madeline,

Speaker 1: 10:56 Uber Lyft Door Dash Air B and B. They're among the biggest names in the gig economy and all California originals. He's on demand services depend on people who are willing to work a Gig, be it host driver or courier, but it turns out that business backbone runs contrary to state law as part of our California dream collaboration. Capitol public radio is random wide explains the industry disruption that may lie ahead

Speaker 9: 11:23 about a mile from the terminals at Sacramento International Airport is a waiting zone. It's the cell phone lot. We're dozens of Uber and Lyft drivers wait their turn to get a passenger request. Um, I am one to five, which means I'd say in about 15 minutes I'll be getting a ride. Sandy miner is 45 minutes into her wait, checking the incoming flight list against her position in the queue a bit more time and

Speaker 9: 11:50 right. Is there Jeff two cars is Jeff Perry. He's a half hour in and still has about 50 drivers in front of him. Sometimes it's quick. Sometimes we're right now this happens to be a busy time of night, right? A lot of flights are coming in between eight and 10. Both Perry and minor work as independent contractors for both ride share companies. This means they can work wherever and whenever they want, but it also means they don't receive any of the benefits like vacation time, overtime and medical coverage that state law mandates for a worker who is considered an employee. The ride share companies maintain, the majority of their workers have full time jobs elsewhere where they get their benefits and prefer the flexibility for making an extra buck. But Perry sees it differently. Like I don't deserve a fair wage because another guy pays me a fair wage and then in my time off you should be able to cheat me or something.

Speaker 9: 12:42 I don't understand that. A recent California Supreme Court decision called dynamics sides with Perry saying, these drivers are employees based on a three part a, B, c test would be being the big one. That's exactly right. I mean, the B is the one that's giving everyone consternation. Los Angeles Attorney Timothy Kim works for a firm that represents gig economy companies. He says the be test requires the person's work to be outside the normal business activities of the hiring company. For example, if a pizza shop hires somebody to clean the windows, that person could be an independent contractor, but if it hire someone to make pizzas, that person would have to be an employee. Businesses throughout California, not just the GIG economy players will be affected in some way by this test because almost every large company uses independent contractors to some extent and now assembly bill five of bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales hopes to take that test and bake it into California law.

Speaker 9: 13:43 She says this will level the playing field. A lot of people are getting rich and it's not the workers and it's at the cost of the tax payers. Ab five limits who will be affected by carving out professions that can remain as independent contractors, including emergency room doctors, realtors and insurance brokers. Other exemptions are still being decided, but it's unlikely the gig companies will be among them. Instead, Uber, Lyft and door dash are lobbying for a new category of worker that falls between contractor and employee, possibly bringing that issue to voters at the ballot box. All eyes are on California right now to see how this shakes itself out. Jared did early works for a libertarian think tank in Washington DC. He says a compromise to include this new worker category could set California apart as a nationwide model, but as currently written data release says ab five could cost the business sector as much as $6 billion annually.

Speaker 9: 14:42 And so if a broad swath of California's workforce was moved over to become employees instead of contractors, it would have a lot of costs. Back to Jeff Perry, the Uber driver at Sacramento International about two and a half hours after first arriving at the lot. He's dropping off his passenger and got word from the company about his earnings for the ride. $12 14 cents. I can't just sign on for an hour and go make money. This is not possible. Any driver who's been doing this for a while knows that lobbying interests from all sides have descended upon Sacramento as ab five makes its way from committees to votes by the full Senate. Next week, Randall white kept radio news.

Speaker 1: 15:26 Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.