San Diego

New Lawsuit Filed Against Sheriff's Deputy Accused of Assaulting 16 Women

Woman alleges County failed to act on sex assault complaints from earlier victims

Another alleged victim of former Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Fischer, accused of sexually assaulting and harassing 21 women while on duty, has filed a lawsuit against the County of San Diego for sexual misconduct, as well as allegations the county had known that Fischer had assaulted other women and refused to act.

NBC 7 first reported on the alleged assault in March of this year when the victim filed a claim for damages to the county. San Diego County denied her claim, forcing her to file a lawsuit.

The woman claims she was driving home from a bar in September 2017 when she lost control of her car and smashed into two parked cars. She immediately called a friend who came and picked her up and took her home to Escondido. Several police cars were waiting for her when she arrived home. She later admitted that she was drunk when she crashed her car.

Police detained her and told her that a Sheriff’s Deputy would be on the scene to take her back to the crash site. That’s when Fischer arrived.

“As [Fischer] drove Jane Doe back to the accident scene, he asked Jane Doe if either of the two males in the car with her were her boyfriend,” reads the newly filed civil complaint. “Jane Doe answered that they were not. Fischer then responded, 'Good, because you could do much better than them' or words to that effect.’”

After deputies investigated the accident -- and after the woman admitted once again she was drunk, had an outstanding warrant for her arrest in a separate incident and was not properly licensed -- Fischer insisted on driving her home.

During the car ride home, according to the lawsuit, Fischer asked Jane Doe if she “wanted a birthday kiss.” After the two arrived at her house, Fischer unbuckled the woman’s seatbelt and then began to rub the inside of her legs, all as she remained handcuffed in the back seat.

“As Deputy Fischer rubbed Jane Doe’s thighs, he looked at her and said, 'Your legs are really soft…'” said the complaint.

He allegedly then rubbed her genitalia and moved in for a kiss, which the woman spurned.

The woman then went into her house.

According to the lawsuit, at the time of the alleged assault Fischer had groped and harassed 19 other women while on duty, with the first documented assault occurring as early as July 2015.

To see a timeline of complaints click here

But according to the lawsuit, San Diego County had received complaints from a victim of Fischer as far back as May 4, 2016, more than a year before Jane Doe’s alleged assault. The May 2016 complaint to the county was previously reported by KPBS

And as civil cases continue to get filed, the criminal case against Fischer nears.

On September 4, Fischer will appear for a readiness conference. His criminal trial is set for September 9.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office said Fischer faces 19 criminal charges on 16 victims, one of which is Jane Doe from the newly filed civil case. Fischer has pleaded not guilty. The spokesperson for the District Attorney would not comment as to any change of plea as the trial nears.

Contact Us