A federal judge has thrown out claims against nine San Diego Police supervisors, brought by a victim of corrupt former officer Anthony Arevalos.
The victim, known as Jane Doe, had filed claims against Arevalos’ past superiors, alleging they intentionally covered up Arevalos’ misconduct and violating her constitutional rights, according to the San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.
Those listed in the claims included then-Chief William Lansdowne, David Bejarano, Rudy Tai, Danny Hollister, Kevin Friedman, Victoria Binkerd, Robert Kanaski, Max Verduzco and Jorge Guevara.
U.S. Federal District Judge Michael M. Anello ruled Thursday that the claims of wrongdoing were not supported by the evidence, and he granted a partial judgment to dismiss them.
In his decision, Anello states that there was no evidence to show that SDPD supervisors had "knowledge that Arevalos was engaged in conduct that posed a pervasive and unreasonable risk of constitutional injury” or that they decided not to act on continuing misconduct.
However, the City of San Diego is still ultimately responsible for Arevalos’ misconduct while on duty, regardless that the supervisors could not have prevented it, according to ruling on March 17.
“Judge Anello based his decision on the body of law that protects government employees from liability for many types of misconduct,” said Doe’s attorney Linda Workman in a statement.
In July, Jane Doe and the city will be going to trial to determine how much money she should be awarded in compensation for the injuries she suffered.
The claims against SDPD superiors aimed to broaden the scope of that trial, Goldsmith said, but Anello’s ruling narrows it.
"She says she fears being outside because of the incident, for example, and should be awarded damages for that. We want the jury to see all the evidence and set a reasonable amount for whatever injuries they find she, in fact, suffered. That's what the case is about," said Goldsmith in the release.
Doe’s attorneys said the lawsuit seeks an independent outside monitor of the SDPD with authority to change the department.
Arevalos was sentenced in 2012 to more than eight years in prison of sexual battery by restraint, bribery and assault and battery by police involving five women. Jane Doe’s testimony was crucial in helping the prosecution secure that conviction.
The Department of Justice announced earlier this week it has launched an independent investigation into the SDPD. It is expected to look at the department's hiring process, supervision of officers and the processes in place to prevent misconduct.
Attorneys for Doe said in a statement that recommendations from an audit do not go far enough and that they would prefer an outside monitor inside the SDPD.