El Monte police officer accused in federal lawsuit of raping transsexual woman while on-duty

A transsexual woman has filed a federal civil rights claim alleging she was raped by an on-duty El Monte police officer last year.
The complaint, filed Oct. 18, seeks unspecified damages and lists the City of El Monte and an unnamed police officer as defendants. It also named up to eight additional unidentified defendants.
Court documents indicate the alleged attack took place between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Oct. 23, 2012, as the victim was walking at the northeast corner of Central and Garvey avenues.
The uniformed officer is accused of pulling up alongside the transsexual woman and ordering her to lean into the driver-side window of his marked patrol car. Fearing for her safety if she refused, the victim complied, according to the complaint.
“El Monte Police Officer John Doe groped her breasts,” the complaint alleged. “He then asked plaintiff if she was a ‘nasty she-male.’ Plaintiff responded that she was transsexual.”
The complaint goes on to allege that the officer ordered the victim into a nearby alley, then ordered her to follow him to a deserted and poorly lit loading dock area in the 10000 block of Garvey Avenue.
Once there, “El Monte Police Officer John Doe got out of his car and ordered plaintiff to perform oral sex on him.” according to the complaint.
“After a few minutes, El Monte Police Officer John Doe told plaintiff to stand up and bend over the trunk of the police car,” the complaint stated. The officer allegedly told the victim in course language that he was going to rape her.
The officer called the victim by a pejorative name and told her, “you like this, don’t you,” as the assault continued, court documents claim.
Once the assault was over, the officer allegedly told the woman to “get out of here,” before leaving the area himself in his patrol car.
After walking away from the area, the woman returned to the scene and collected a condom discarded by the officer during the alleged attack, according to the complaint. The condom was turned over the Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators, who are looking into the allegation.
“At all times, plaintiff felt threatened by El Monte Police Officer John Doe’s actions and only complied with his directions out of fear for her physical safety,” the complaint stated. “At no point did El Monte Police Officer John Doe have probably cause to detain the plaintiff.”
In a written statement, El Monte Police Chief Steve Schuster said the department was taking the allegation seriously.
“These allegations are very disturbing and clearly not representative of the expectations we have for the men and women who serve the El Monte Police Department. We take any allegation against our police department or individual police officers very seriously because we hold our officers to the highest standard,” Schuster said.
“The officer in question has been put on administrative leave while an internal investigation (is) conducted. We have asked the Los Angeles (County) Sheriff’s Department to conduct a criminal investigation of the claims and are fully cooperating with that process.”
Department spokeswoman Valerie Martinez said the officer was placed on leave immediately once the allegation was made in October of last year.
Lt. Bob Peacock of the Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Bureau confirmed detectives have been investigating the El Monte officer.
“El Monte police requested we conduct a criminal investigation,” he said. He added that detectives expect to turn over their finding’s to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges within the next few months.
Investigators were still waiting on a few bits of evidence, including the results of DNA analysis, Peacock said.
The officer, whom Peacock declined to name, had not been arrested in connection with the investigation.
Rancho Cucamonga-based attorney Robert Kitson, who is representing the alleged victim, said the officer’s identity was not yet known to himself or his client.
He declined to discuss the case in detail, since it is already headed toward litigation. The City of El Monte and it’s police department were served with a court summons Tuesday, records show.
“The complaint is quite detailed. It speaks for itself,” Kitson said.
The El Monte officer is not the only San Gabriel Valley law enforcement officer currently accused of sexually assaulting a woman while on-duty.
In another lawsuit filed in April, a Chino woman alleges that then-Irwindale police Sgt. David Fraijo forced her to perform oral sex on him during a traffic stop on Oct. 20, 2012. The suit, which is pending, seeks $1 million in damages.
In addition to alleging civil rights violations on the part of the officer allegedly involved in the sexual assault, the lawsuit claims that police department supervisors, “failed to properly train and supervise El Monte Police Officer John Doe. Their acts or omissions were the product of a deliberate indifference to the constitutional and legal rights of plaintiff.”

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