Another woman has come forward with sexual misconduct accusations against the former San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Fischer.
The woman is now the 17th person to move forward with a civil action against Fischer and the County of San Diego.
According to the complaint, the woman, known only by Jane Doe, was on her way home from a bar when she struck three parked cars in the early hours of September 7, 2017. She called a friend who then drove her home before the police arrived. The police, however, had already been notified and dispatchers sent a deputy to try and find Jane Doe at her house. When she arrived at her home, Deputy Fischer was waiting.
Fischer took Jane Doe back to the scene of the crash to investigate the accident. Once there, the woman admitted to driving while under the influence, as well as having hit the parked cars.
After the investigation concluded, Fischer allegedly took her back to her house. When they arrived Fischer reportedly opened the back of his police cruiser and asked the woman if she wanted a “birthday kiss.” Fischer allegedly rubbed the woman’s legs as he reached over to unbuckle her seat belt, meanwhile commenting how “soft” her legs were.
As she exited the car, she says Fischer “groped her buttocks” and grabbed between her legs. She ran inside after he asked if anyone else was home.
“She lived in fear that he would return, and that if she said anything, the charges would be brought against her,” reads the complaint filed in state court.
Doug Gilliland, the attorney for the woman, said his client feared to come forward and missed the deadline to file a claim with the county. Last week he filed a petition with the court to allow her to file a lawsuit. That petition was posted on March 14.
“She was fearful to come forward,” Gilliland told NBC 7. “She had been sexually assaulted by a police officer that she perceived to have power over her. But now she’s looking for justice. She’s been scared for so long and was empowered after seeing the other women come forward.”
In addition to the 17 civil cases, Fischer faces 20 criminal sexual misconduct charges.
The felony trial is set for September 9 of this year.
The county declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Editor's Note: The article described Richard Fischer as an active sheriff's deputy. On Friday, March 15, we were notified by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Lt. Karen Stubjkaer that Fischer was no longer an employee of the sheriff's department effective Feb. 22. When asked if Fischer resigned or was terminated, Stubjkaer would only say "he no longer works for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department."