A seventh woman has come forward accusing a San Diego Police Officer of sexual misconduct, the San Diego Police Department confirmed Tuesday.
SDPD Lt. Kevin Mayer told NBC 7 the claims from this latest accuser against SDPD Officer Christopher Hays, 30, are being investigated.
“I can’t discuss details of her statement,” said Lt. Mayer. “I can tell you we have talked with her and we are investigating her allegations.”
Hays is currently at the center of investigations involving women who claim the officer gave them improper pat downs, from which he allegedly got sexual gratification.
The accusations against Hays first came to light last week after SDPD Chief William Lansdowne confirmed five women had come forward to report sexual misconduct involving the officer. The chief said there was no skin-to-skin contact between Hays and his accusers.
A sixth woman reported her alleged encounter with Hays to local attorney Dan Gilleon, who said his client’s claims are extremely serious and involve sexual contact with the officer. Gilleon said his client alleges that Hays threatened to arrest her if she didn’t give him oral sex.
According to the accusers – who are all between 20 and 30 years old – the alleged incidents took place between October 2012 and Dec. 23, 2013.
Most of the cases have been filed with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office is now reviewing the cases and will determine whether or not Hays will face criminal charges.
Lansdowne said the SDPD’s internal investigation should be completed by the week’s end.
Hays is currently on unpaid leave and has been relieved of his official duties. He could be terminated if found guilty, Lansdowne said.
On Sunday, Hays was booked into San Diego County Jail on charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery. He was released shortly thereafter, once he posted his $130,000 bail. His arraignment is slated for Feb. 18.
He could face additional charges brought forth by the DA’s office once their review is completed.
Hays is the second SDPD officer accused of preying on women while on duty.
In November 2011, jurors convicted former Officer Anthony Arevalos of multiple sex crimes, including violent, sexual assaults on women while in uniform in San Diego’s busy Gaslamp Quarter.