First claim filed against cop in sex assaults - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

First claim filed against cop in sex assaults

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The first claim for damages has been filed against the city for alleged sexual battery at the hands of a San Diego police officer.

CBS News 8 spoke to the attorney representing the woman, who claims she was groped while being frisked by officer Christopher Hays.

"The officer gave her a ride home, as she was getting out of the car, the officer says, oh I forgot to frisk you," said attorney Brian Watkins.

The sexual battery allegedly happened October 2013, along University Avenue near 54th Street.

The alleged victim, who was not under arrest, claims San Diego Police Officer Christopher Hays offered to give her a ride home, but then pulled over near a dumpster in the back of a strip mall and started frisking her.

"The search consisted of him grabbing her breasts with both hands, grabbing her crotch, grabbing her buttocks, and then he grabbed her wrist and put it on his crotch," continued Watkins.

Attorney Brian Watkins represents the unidentified woman, who he admits has a criminal history, including a previous arrest by Officer Hays.

"He was targeting women who would be scared to come forward with this information, woman who he had power and authority over," said Watkins. "In a he said, she said, he would win that battle."

Watkins says the women told her boyfriend about the incident the same night it happened.

The attorney has now filed claim against the city for more than $10,000 in damages - a move that usually means a lawsuit is coming.

"She is in a very traumatic situation where she's up against an officer with authority and credibility of being a police officer, and that's a fearful situation to be in," added Watkins.

Officer Hays was arrested and bailed out of jail over the weekend, after several other woman came forward with similar accusations against the former Marine, husband and father of two.

Through his attorney, Officer Hays has denied any wrongdoing.

The district attorney is still reviewing the case for possible criminal charges. An arraignment has been set for Tuesday, February 18.

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