A woman filed a new complaint against a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy of sexual misconduct this week bringing the total number of women accusing the same deputy to 19.
The latest accuser of Deputy Richard Fischer lives in Vista. She claims Fischer visited her workplace and home several times over a six month period and, during most of those visits, hugged and groped her.
She said the last incident happened in April 2017 at her apartment when she says he forced her to perform a sex act on him.
Manny Medrano, Fischer's defense attorney, said Thursday the deputy “vigorously denies” the allegations and the two of them will “zealously challenge them” in court.
Fischer is awaiting trial on charges of groping or touching more than a dozen women who had called 911 for help or were in custody, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's office.
He was arrested and charged on Feb. 22. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied all allegations.
Several women say Fischer was in uniform and on duty when he inappropriately touched them in their homes or while they were in custody.
The DA's office said Fischer would return to victims' homes late at night after the call had been cleared from dispatch records and no other deputies were present.
Several times the unwanted touching and questioning occurred minutes or even hours after other deputies had left the scene, the women claim.
Fischer's 18th accuser told NBC 7 he used his position as a uniformed officer to take advantage of her in a North County motel room while her 12-year-old daughter was nearby.
The woman's account is similar to another woman's, who in May presented her testimony at a preliminary hearing for Fischer and said he took advantage of her after offering to escort her home from an incident with an ex-boyfriend.
Prosecutors said half of Fischer's alleged victims had called the sheriff's department after they were victims of a crime. The other half of the victims were in custody and handcuffed when the alleged assaults occurred. Fischer was placed on paid administrative leave in October when the first accusation surfaced. After the criminal charges were filed, Fischer was placed on unpaid leave pending the outcome of the criminal case, Sheriff Bill Gore said.
Four alleged victims have reached settlements with San Diego County in civil lawsuits.
Fischer is out on bail and on unpaid leave while the case against him moves forward.