Four women who work in a school police department have filed lawsuits against a former officer, claiming that he raped and sexually assaulted them.
The lawsuits say John Garcia, 43 had been dogged by a history of sexual misconduct before he went to work for the Fontana Unified School District and sexually assaulted four women, according to the San Bernardino Sun. The suits claim that Garcia was a “serial sexual predator who used his position as a police officer to prey upon females who worked alone at night.” The alleged sexual assaults and rapes happened between October 2010 and September 2011. One woman says she was raped on three separate occasions.
Attorney for the women Brian Hannemann told NBC Los Angeles that the victims were also threatened with termination if they spoke out about the sexual assault allegations.
They complain that Garcia was hired despite the fact that he had previously been accused of sexual assault. An 20-year-old cadet for the Fontana Police Department accused him of sexual assault in 2006 while she was on a ride-along, but prosecutors did not bring the case against him due to insufficient evidence.
The Fontana Police Department and school district both investigated the allegations and a criminal case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Office, but it declined to file charges because of insufficient evidence in 2011. The school district did fire Garcia in March 2012, and he challenged it but the district’s decision was upheld in August 2012. The lawsuit calls on the Riverside County DA to prosecute Garcia in criminal court.
The suit says Garcia was put in charge of a teen intervention program and Garcia was accused of having affairs with two mothers of at-risk teens. He reportedly boasted about his conquests to his colleagues and showed them nude or semi-nude pictures he had taken of the women on his cell phone.
Neither Garcia nor the district gave comments to reporters.
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