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The claim, filed with the college district last week by attorney Dan Gilleon on behalf of the officer, seeks more than $25,000 in compensation for damages including sexual harassment and battery, retaliation, violation of civil rights and breach of mandatory duty.
“After (the officer) had been with the District for about a year, (the supervisor) began an aggressive, continuous campaign of sexual harassment against (her), including coercing her into an unwanted sexual relationship.
“(The supervisor) has required (the officer) to submit to sexual intercourse with him while they were both in uniform, during working hours, at the police station, and inside (the supervisor’s) service vehicles,” the claim continued.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is not identifying the victim because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime. It is not naming her supervisor because he had not yet had an opportunity to file a response to the claim at the time of publication, and he could not be reached for comment.
Jack Beresford, a spokesman for the San Diego Community College District, said in an email Thursday that the alleged victim remains an active employee. He said the supervisor was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday, pending the outcome of the district’s investigation into the allegations.
“While the San Diego Community College District’s policy is not to comment on pending litigation, we are committed to providing all employees with a safe and inclusive workplace, and we take seriously any allegation of harassment,” Beresford said.
The officer alleges her supervisor coerced her into a sexual relationship with him using his leverage over her career between August 2019 and December 2021. The supervisor had gotten the officer her job at the department and constantly told her that she “‘owed’” him.
The officer, who was a victim of sexual abuse as a child and became a mother as a young teenager, was vulnerable to coercion, the claim said.
She “was in no way attracted to (her boss),” according to the claim. “In fact, he disgusted her and she found him repulsive. But he was clearly powerful … which made (her) all the more terrified of him and the power (he) held over her.”
On multiple occasions starting at the end of 2020, the officer’s supervisor used physical force to get her to perform sex acts, even after she repeatedly protested, the claim alleges.
The officer tried to get work at another police department in San Diego County, the claim said. When she was asked whether she had ever had sex in the workplace, she got anxious. The results of her polygraph test were inconclusive.
When she told her supervisor about the question on the test, he told her she should have lied, according to the claim.
In early September 2021, the supervisor called the officer, apparently by accident, the claim said. She missed the call, but according to the claim, he inadvertently left her a voicemail in which he could be heard “discussing an affair with another female officer.”
The alleged victim and the other officer with whom her supervisor was apparently having sexual relations were applying for the same promotion at the time — and they both interviewed with her supervisor, according to the claim.
The officer “told (the department’s chief) about the voicemail immediately,” according to the claim. “(The chief) turned a blind eye to (the supervisor’s) clear abuse of power and conflict of interest in regards to hiring for this new position.
“He told (the officer) not to tell anyone and that there was nothing that could be done about the situation,” the claim continued.
A few days later, the other female officer got the promotion, the claim alleges.
According to the claim, the supervisor retaliated against the alleged victim when she applied for another promotion later the same year, spreading rumors that she planned to leave the department. She did not get that promotion, but she was promoted to a lesser position late last year.
The officer stopped having sex with her supervisor in December, but his harassment continued, according to the claim.
Last month, while the two met for coffee in their respective patrol cars, the officer was called to assist other officers, but the supervisor told her she should stay with him. She did not respond to the call and stayed instead.
“At the end of the conversation, (the officer) was dispatched to a call of a subject trespassing and sleeping, and other officers were dispatched to cover her,” her claim says.
The officer told the supervisor she had to go, lest she get in trouble, the claim alleged, “but (the supervisor) just canceled the units that were assigned to cover her.”
The claim the officer filed with the district this week said her next step will be to sue the district in San Diego Superior Court.
She has filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and received a notice of her right to sue the district.