An Orange County woman, the 17th person to accuse San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer of inappropriate sexual contact, said she was urged by sheriff's detectives not to file a complaint against the lawman.
The woman, whom we'll call Tiffany," moved to Orange County two years after her alleged run-in with Fischer. She only found out about the other claims against him last month when she read about them online.
While the encounter never left her memory, she thought Fischer was long gone from the sheriff's department.
"I was actually shocked," she said.
Fischer is on unpaid administrative leave while he faces trial on criminal charges from more than a dozen women. He's also facing civil lawsuits from those accusers.
Tiffany, speaking exclusively to NBC 7, said Fischer stopped her when she was driving home on Interstate 8 in September 2012. He accused her of drinking and driving, but according to her complaint, he settled for a hug and a phone number, then even followed her home.
"It was like you are not hugging somebody back but they've got you in a tight lock," she said. "Kinda like shaking you. They want you to know they have control."
She said Fischer sent some 20 texts for two days straight. She said she went along with it out of fear she might still be arrested.
"It seemed very flirtatious, very inappropriate for that profession," Tiffany said.
A sheriff's spokesperson says Fischer received his first patrol assignment in 2014 and the department did not get a complaint regarding misconduct allegations until 2017.
Tiffany said she was afraid to file a formal complaint. Two pairs of sheriff's detectives interviewed her within a few days of the traffic stop, she said.
"It was under pressure like, 'You don't want to file a claim, right? You don't want to file a claim, right?'" Tiffany said.
She said the detectives contacted her after tracking Fischer's car to her home a number of times.
"I feel like he used his power wherever he knew someone was in a vulnerable position," she said.
Tiffany said the deputy's behavior had a profound effect on her. She drives on the highway only when she has to and whenever she sees law enforcement near her car, she gets anxious.
Fischer's attorney did not comment on this story, saying it was inappropriate to comment while the cases are ongoing.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story said Fischer was on paid leave during proceedings. He is on unpaid administrative leave.