A former Mesa College student claims the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department investigated one of its deputies currently facing criminal charges for allegedly following her and groping her after a traffic stop in 2012.
Her claim filed August 3 states two Internal Affairs detectives pressured her not to file a formal complaint.
The woman, who now lives in Orange County, alleges that in September 2012 Deputy Richard Fischer pulled her over at 4 a.m. near San Diego State University as she was driving home. The incident occurred on Interstate 8 just west of the Fairmont / Mission Gorge Road exit, the claim states.
The woman alleges Fischer offered to follow her home instead of arresting her for alleged drunk driving. When he got to her home, the claim states, he told her he was doing her a favor for not arresting her while driving under the influence and asked for her phone number and a hug.
Fischer faces assault and battery under the color of authority charges in connection with 13 women who accuse the six-year veteran deputy of kissing, hugging, and inappropriately touching them.
The woman’s claim was previously filed in court in June, but the new August 3 legal filings augment other alleged victims’ claims in civil court that the sheriff’s department did not stop Fischer from assaulting women while he was on duty.
Fischer told NBC7 the claims against him are false.
“These charges are false. Every night, my wife and I pray that my good name will be cleared and exonerated,” he said on July 26.
Fischer was arrested Feb. 22 and charged with 15 criminal counts that include assault and battery under the color of authority for alleged incidents that happened between 2015 and 2017.
He is now awaiting trial on charges of groping or touching women who had called 911 for help or were in custody, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s office.
Fischer remains on unpaid leave pending the outcome of these investigations, an SDSO spokeswoman confirmed on July 26.
The statute of limitations may have expired for the unwanted hugging and subsequent text messages the Mesa College student said she received from Fischer after her 2012 traffic stop. But the woman’s claims may help the plaintiffs dispute SDSO’s statement they investigated as soon as they heard about Fischer’s alleged behavior, in a civil case against Fischer and the SDSO.
The woman, named “T.R.” in the legal filing, claims a few days after her 2012 traffic stop, two SDSO detectives showed up at her doorstep.
“They told ‘T.R.’ they had tracked Fischer’s car to her address using GPS and they wanted to interview her about Fischer,” the claim states.
If true, the allegations contradict the county’s assertion that SDSO and Sheriff Bill Gore were never notified about complaints against Fischer until late 2017.
The sheriff’s department did not respond to the latest allegation.
Sheriff Bill Gore told NBC7 in December that his office opened criminal and administrative investigations as soon as they learned of the accusations against Fischer.
"There is no sweeping anything under the carpet," Gore said. "We did move quickly. We removed him from his job very quickly as soon as we heard of these allegations."
According to the newest claim, Fischer never administered a field-sobriety or breathalyzer test during the 2012 traffic stop. Instead, he was flirtatious during the encounter and followed the woman to her home near San Diego State, according to the claim.
“Deputy Fischer told T.R. that the tint on her windows was too dark and was illegal to have,” the claim states. “Deputy Fischer did not ask for her driver’s license, registration or proof of insurance. Instead, Deputy Fischer walked back to his car and returned a few minutes later claiming he could smell alcohol on T.R.’s breath.”
Offering to follow her home rather than arrest her for alleged driving under the influence, Fischer was smiling and laughing during the encounter, the claim states.
Once there, Fischer “was giddy,” according to the claim. “Deputy Fischer gave T.R. an awkward hug and said ‘I’ll see you later.’ The hug was not normal. He hugged her and then rocked her back and forth. T.R. did not ask for the hug,” the claim states.
The complaint says the woman gave her phone number to Fischer because “she was intimidated and was afraid Fischer would arrest her for drunk driving.”
Days later, when the two SDSO detectives showed up at her door-step after tracking Fischer’s GPS, the woman was interviewed and provided the detectives with the text messages Fischer had sent her since the encounter, the claim said.
During the interview, the detectives asked the woman, "you don't really want to file a complaint, right?" the claim says.
About a week later, the woman claims she was contacted again by SDSO, this time by two Internal Affairs detectives who did not ask to see the text messages but did ask her “you’re not going to file a complaint, right?” the claim says.
At his last court appearance, Deputy Richard Fischer told NBC7 he prays his name will be exonerated.
“These charges are simply untrue. They are false,” Fischer said. “These false allegations are extremely hurtful and disheartening.”
Fischer is out on bail while the criminal case against him moves forward.