Los Angeles County OKs $6 million settlement in officer rape case

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2015 6:08 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles County lawmakers on Tuesday approved a $6.15 million settlement in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who was raped by a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in 2010, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors confirmed the approval but could not provide additional details on the settlement.

The woman, identified only as Lindsay F. in court documents, filed the lawsuit in 2011. The sheriff's deputy, 31-year-old Jose Rigoberto Sanchez, was subsequently sentenced to nine years in state prison for rape under color of authority and soliciting a bribe.

The woman's complaint said Sanchez, who was in uniform and driving his county patrol vehicle at the time, pulled her over on Sept. 22, 2010, for driving under the influence and having a suspended license.

The lawsuit said that during the traffic stop, Sanchez coerced her into submitting to his sexual advances to avoid being arrested. It added that Sanchez had her get into his patrol vehicle, which he drove down a remote dirt road before forcing her into oral, vaginal and anal sex.

A summary report of the case produced by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said the victim reported the rape to the department the next day. Sanchez was fired as the criminal case unfolded, according to the lawsuit.

The Los Angeles Times, citing a probation report, said Sanchez also told the victim to give him her phone number to "mess around" again.

The Times said that two nights later, Sanchez pulled over another woman for driving under the influence and asked for a bribe in the form of sex, although that woman refused.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)