RICHMOND (CBS SF) — An attorney has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Richmond and its police officers, alleging that several officers exploited a teenage sex worker while supervisors and others turned a blind eye.
The federal lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of the teen, who has been at the center of a sexual misconduct scandal involving Richmond police and several other local law enforcement agencies. Her name is not being included because she is a sex trafficking victim.
The suit names former police Chief Chris Magnus, current Chief Allwyn Brown, Lt. Brian Dickerson, Lt. Andre Hill, Sgt. Armando Moreno, Sgt. Mike Rood, Officer Jerred Tong and Officer Terrance Jackson.
According to the lawsuit, Jackson met the teen when she was a high school student and he was assigned to her school as a resource officer.
Jackson allegedly knew she was working as an underage sex worker but did not make any efforts to assist her, the suit alleges.
On one day, he came to her house in his patrol car and she came out wearing only a robe. He asked her to “flash” him and then groped her breasts, according to the suit.
Moreno allegedly had sex with the teen at hot tubs in Berkeley and in one instance permitted her to review a police report about a sexual assault that had been committed against one of her friends, according to the suit.
The suit also alleges she received protection from potential arrests in exchange for sexual favors for Moreno.
The teen also had sexual relationships with Rood and Tong, while Hill — a former police spokesman — instructed her to disrobe in front of her window when he drove by her house, according to the suit.
The suit alleges that the two chiefs and Dickerson, the head of the Police Department’s internal affairs division, failed to adequately investigate or take corrective actions against the officers and that the city was negligent in its hiring and training of them.
None of the officers “were reprimanded, admonished and/or disciplined while the exploitation was occurring,” the suit states. “Instead, supervisors who knew and/or should have known about the ongoing exploitation chose to turn a blind eye and/or remain complicit in the cover-up until the exploitation and conspiracy was exposed to the public.”
In October 2016, Richmond city officials announced that four officers connected to the scandal had been fired among 11 investigated in connection with the case.
“The professionalism and integrity of our police department is of high importance and is a point of pride for out city,” Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said in a statement in October.
“The appropriate corrective actions are being taken to ensure that we do our part in Richmond to address the rash of improper conduct seen in police departments across the Bay Area,” Butt said.
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