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New settlements in former deputy sex assault scandal | Taxpayers have paid nearly $5 million to settle over a dozen lawsuits

Recent settlements of over $822,000 added to the overall total in the 20 sex assault cases against former deputy Richard Fischer
Credit: CBS 8

SAN DIEGO — Since February, San Diego County taxpayers have shelled out just over $822,000 to end lawsuits filed by two victims who were sexually assaulted by former Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer. 

The February 3 and March 15 payouts are the 13th and 14th lawsuits filed by Fischer's victims against the former deputy and the County of San Diego to settle since 2017. 

In all, a total of 22 lawsuits have been filed alleging that the Sheriff's Department failed to properly supervise and prevent the sexual assaults from happening. 

In 2018, the former deputy was charged with 14 counts of making sexual contact and sexually harassing numerous women while on duty. The following year he was sentenced to serve 44-months in prison

And, as Fischer serves out his time, the county has been busy litigating the 22 cases. 

According to public records, two of those lawsuits have since been dismissed without any monetary award, while 14 have been dismissed with the county paying out a total of $4.67 million since 2018. 

A total of six cases will soon head to trial, meaning the total taxpayer payout will likely increase.

A list of lawsuits against Richard Fischer and the County of San Diego:

In February, a victim known only as "L.R" in court dismissed her case against Fischer in exchange for $522,114. In her lawsuit, L.R said Fischer pulled her and her husband over in Lakeside. Fischer arrested L.R. for having Vicodin pills without a prescription - according to to the lawsuit L.R. had gone on a road trip and put some of her medication into a travel container. 

Over the course of several hours, Fischer allegedly rubbed L.R.'s breasts on numerous occasions as he transported her to the jail and later to the hospital. On each leg of the journey, according to the lawsuit, as Fischer put L.R.'s seat belt on, he rubbed the woman's breast with his hand and arm. After the hospital, instead of transporting her to Las Colinas, he released her, asking her for a hug before she went. During the hug, Fischer, according to the lawsuit, groped her backside.

Then, on March 15, the county sent word to CBS 8 through a Public Records Request that it had paid another victim $300,000 to settle a separate case. 

In that case, a woman known as "T.M.," alleged that Fischer pulled her over in Vista for a burnt-out taillight. Fischer then allegedly followed T.M. home. He got out and asked her for a hug. During the hug, he, according to the lawsuit, groped her. Afterward, the lawsuit alleges that Fischer tried to follow her into her home but left abruptly when T.M.'s landlord appeared outside. 

Not long after the woman came outside to get something from her car and saw that Fischer was still there. He approached her in "a flirtatious manner" says the lawsuit. The woman gave him her phone number and he left.

According to public records, the next of the six still-open cases is set for trial on May 12. That case was filed by a then 51-year-old woman who ran a mental health facility where Fischer had responded over the course of several months. Her lawsuit alleges that Fischer showed up at the facility and forced her to perform oral sex on him. She reported the assault but, according to the complaint, no action was taken.

The County of San Diego did not respond to a request for comment on the payouts. 

Attorney Dan Gilleon, who represents most of the victims, also declined to comment.

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