Two victims of convicted Richard Fischer are outraged the former San Diego County Sheriff's deputy has been released from prison after serving just over five months of a 44-month sentence for assaulting more than a dozen women.
“Honestly, it makes it to where we don’t matter and law enforcement can do whatever they want and it shows everybody else that it’s OK, and you’re going to get away with it and there’s no real punishment behind it or repercussion for it,” said a woman who was identified as Jane Doe #3 court hearings.
Another victim known as Jane Doe #1 says she was shocked to learn about Fischer’s release via social media. She said the District Attorney's Office assured her that she and other victims would be notified when he was eventually released.
“I am very disappointed because I was under the impression that the DA and judge make sure all of us victims were going to be OK,” said Jane Doe #1.
NBC 7 has asked the DA’s office for comment on notification procedures. They have not responded to direct questions on the issue.
Richard Fischer, 33, assaulted 16 women while on duty and in uniform, including women who had called the department for help or to report a crime. He pleaded guilty to four felony counts of assault and battery by an officer, two counts of misdemeanor assault by an officer and one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment.
The women accused Fischer of hugging or kissing them without consent, groping their bodies and even forcing them to perform oral copulation during incidents between July 2015 and August 2017 in several communities, including Vista, Lakeside, El Cajon and San Marcos.
In December, as part of a plea deal, Fischer was sentenced to 44 months in a local prison. His attorney, however, said that sentence was automatically reduced to 22 months because Fischer is a non-violent offender. Additional credits were given because the ex-deputy was in home confinement during his legal battle. Furthermore, his attorney said Fischer should have been released in February as a result of COVID-19 prison credits but he wasn’t released until May 15.
The victims say they feel betrayed by the legal system.
“This is just showing to all the women who have these kinds of problems, they’re never going to be comfortable to speak aloud about what happened,” said Jan Doe #1.
“He didn’t actually pay for what he did. He got away with it, and it’s kind of like a win for him in a way,” said Jane Doe #3.
The victims also say they’re fearful because Fischer is no longer behind bars.
“I am scared. Maybe he’ll show up, because he did show up five times uninvited. And I have a family too. I really don’t feel comfortable,” said Jane Doe #1.
“It’s really unnerving and it’s scary especially because he lost his job, what else could he lose, and he’s really upset and you never know where it’s going go from here,” said Jane Doe #3.