Federal Judge Criticizes Lack of Response of California Police Department To Allegations of Sexual Abuse By Officer

U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford verbally lashed the Fullerton Police Department in its handing of allegation by sexual misconduct of an officer, calling the police department actions as “shocking” in its failure to take serious steps to preserve and act on evidence.

Officer Albert Rincon is accused of a pattern of detaining women and using the detention to make sexual propositions or even grope women. Notably, he not only routinely failed to call for a female officer for pat-down, as required “whenever practical” under city policy, but actively shut off his digital audio recorder. On the later issue, Guiford wrote, “This is different than simply forgetting to switch it on. This means that Rincon chose to leave no audio recording of the arrest.”

Nevertheless, the Fullerton district attorney found the allegations without proof beyond a reasonable doubt despite seven women alleging abuse. Prosecutors insisted that there was evidence that the women had spoken with each other about their allegations. However, Guilford called the city’s handling of the situation “weak” and “shocking” and noted that the officer was just required to go through pat-down training.

Source: OC Weekly

22 thoughts on “Federal Judge Criticizes Lack of Response of California Police Department To Allegations of Sexual Abuse By Officer

  1. The DA may have felt a lot of heat from the police department. He needs the police to testify in criminal cases, and he did not want them to go all passive-aggressive on him and start “forgetting” what happened in criminal cases.

    That would create a lot of problems come election time if he had a lousy conviction rate with a lot of dismissals for “lack of evidence.”

  2. I do like the fact that the City of Fullerton has been thoughtful enough to readily identify the criminals in their community to the public by putting them in uniform. The whole giving them a gun and a badge deal though isn’t such a good idea. I won’t even mention the patrol cars.

    Seriously, Fullerton. What the Hell is wrong with your police department? And California? Why isn’t the CBI on Fullerton like a #400 gorilla?

  3. One wonders what would have been the reaction of the Fullerton Police Department and district attorney if the seven complaints against officer Albert Rinconhad for sexual misconduct had been from males or minors.

  4. The DA is a sniveling coward. The DA`s job is to serve the people,covering up for Fullerton`s finest is NOT that service. Where are all the “GOOD” cops in Fullerton? You should all be embarrassed to the point of quitting by your fellow officers behavior. All that is required for the triumph of evil is for GOOD men to do nothing, it appears that evil will triumph in Fullerton as there seem to be NO good men.

  5. You are right Blouise. The suits would have been all over the place if men had been groped by this guy. Every Teapublican presidential candidate would have been traveling to Fullerton for a press conference to call out this evil cop!

  6. Dredd is right. This stuff goes on all the time.

    Also, enforcement against illegal strip searches is so rare as to be meaningless. Recently here in Massachusetts:

    Newton teen, pregnant woman allege illegal strip search by Waltham police

    A Waltham woman and a 15-year-old Newton girl filed suit in federal court against the city and three police officers today, alleging officers conducted “humiliating’’ illegal strip searches, according to their attorney, Jessica D. Hedges.

    The plaintiffs, Gladys Melendez and Vanessa Cruz, of Newton, claim officers with only a warrant authorizing them to search the residence and Cruz’s mother for cocaine on Jan. 19, 2007, ordered Melendez, who was 7 months pregnant, and Cruz, who was 13, to strip naked, and then conducted a complete and “invasive’’ search, according to the complaint filed at the U.S. District Court in Boston.

  7. Off Topic and still relevant….

    Amanda Knox…..There has been a lot of coverage about her case…and the abuses of office…she was sentenced to 26 years…Now the US is going to launch and international investigation if she is not freed… apparently there has been manufactured evidence in this matter…

    This bring me to a couple of questions…We execute in some cases people that I think are innocent…The US Sct has stated that we need some finality….ok…

    Are we asking the Italian Courts to afford more leniency to someone we consider American….Then brings my mind to trying to figure this out…when we have so much respect for due process when we kill American citizens in Yemen….

  8. puzzling, AY and rafflaw,

    It is a dynamic of “exceptionalism”, a word that means “the king can do no wrong” and “the Pope is infallible”.

    In other words, the law and the facts can take a hike.

  9. You could be right Dredd.
    I saw that story and Prof. Turley has just posted about it. By the way, I was thinking of you while I was watching Mel Gibson in the movie, Braveheart. All of those Scottish warriors in Kilts made me think of you! :)

  10. Pete, that is a regular commenter on Daily Kos who writes under the username ‘Ministry of Truth.’ I have linked to some of his well written stories in the past. He is good. Not only a good writer, but quick on his feet in that interview.

    The Fox interviewer tried his best but MoT outflanked him at every turn. I was told the interview has not been broadcast on Fox. Anyone want to make a wager on whether it will be broadcast?


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