A former San Marcos woman has been awarded $350,000 in civil damages, after claiming former San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Fischer forcibly hugged, groped and kissed her inside her home.
According to her attorney, it is the fifth civil settlement granted by the county in cases connected to Fischer.
On Wednesday, the county Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in closed session on the civil settlement.
NBC 7 is granting the victim’s request not to be identified.
She says she encountered then Deputy Fisher in Nov. 2016, when she was 28-years old. She said Fischer responded to a domestic dispute with her ex-fiance. When he left, Fischer returned to the home knowing she was alone.
“He grabbed me, gave me a very tight hug, rubbed me up and down, started kissing me, it put me in a state of shock, it was very traumatic,” says the victim, now 32.
In December, former Deputy Fischer was sentenced to nearly four years in local prison for assaulting 16-women while on duty and in uniform.
The victim awarded the most recent settlement was not involved in the criminal case. She’s hopeful the $350,000 settlement sends out a strong message.
“It’s not about the money at this point, it’s really about people becoming aware of what happened. These types of situations are far too common and it’s heartbreaking to see any woman go through this or a man or a child,” said the victim.
Fischer’s sentence was part of a plea deal in which all sexual assault charges were dropped. He does not have to register as a sex offender. The victim awarded Wednesday’s settlement called the sentence ‘lightweight’.
“I really feel that in order for change to occur, there needs to be some heavy- duty consequences at the end of the day, and if they consider that a heavy-duty consequence, I don’t really know what is,” said the victim.
Attorney Dan Gilleon says the previous four civil settlements averaged $250,000. He expects the payout figure to continue to rise as the county is likely to decide on up to 18 other civil cases.
“Although Mr. Fischer admitted to his crimes, he’s now using taxpayer money to fund a defense that amounts to nothing but harassment of the women he victimized. Another judgment day is coming, and it won’t be pleasant for Fischer or the taxpayers," said Gilleon.