San Diego

SDSO Releases Documents in Deputy Misconduct Investigation

NBC 7 Investigates is uncovering revealing new details of sexual misconduct within the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO).

A deputy was forced to resign after an internal investigation determined he fondled a homeless woman who was the alleged victim of an assault in a transient encampment.

More than 100 pages of internal investigation documents obtained by NBC 7 tell a multi-level tale of misconduct by former SDSO Deputy Juan Andrade.

According to the investigation, while Andrade was interviewing a homeless woman, the alleged victim of an attack on Jamacha Boulevard on March 11, 2017, the deputy told her he was attracted to her and made inappropriate comments.

The records indicate after seven phone calls he picked her up in his squad car near the encampment at Spring Glen Lane. He dropped her off in the alley behind the SDSO Rancho San Diego substation on Campo Road, fondled her, then promised to return with food for her.

Andrade returned 20 minutes later and took the woman into the substation where he reheated leftovers from breakfast for her.

After she ate, the report says Andrade made inappropriate comments, grabbed the woman’s hand and placed it on his crotch.

The encounter ended when Andrade told her his shift was about to end and he escorted the woman outside the substation.

Investigators found the deputy's conduct unbecoming of the office and said he failed to meet honest standards. He was also found guilty of incompetency and negligence.

Andrade traded termination for a chance to resign effective May 23, two months after the encounter.

NBC 7 received a copy of the case Friday through a public records request. The details of the case would have never seen the light of day had California Senate Bill 4121 not passed last month.

The open records law effectively gives the public access to discipline records of California Law enforcement officers – specifically, records regarding investigations into sexual misconduct and use of force.

Click here to read the full investigation report.

The release of records under this law is currently being challenged in the courts by eight police agencies in San Diego County.

NBC 7 and five other media organizations have filed motions in court to intervene and push for the release of these records. On Friday, a San Diego judge approved NBC 7's request to intervene, meaning journalists will be able to make their case to a judge on why the release of discipline records is of great public interest.

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