California city settles police sex assault lawsuit for $1M

By – Associated Press – Sunday, May 3, 2020

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (AP) – A California city agreed to a $1 million settlement with a former police officer who alleged she was sexually assaulted by a lieutenant while the police administration covered up the crime.

The city of Brentwood agreed to the settlement in exchange for the woman dropping her lawsuit and ending claims against all parties, The Mercury News reported Saturday.

The female officer accused former police Lt. Salvatore DiMercurio of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in Reno, Nevada, where they were both attending a training conference in September 2017.

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After the officer’s lawsuit was filed in February 2019, two other women came forward with allegations against DiMercurio, including a claim he sexually assaulted one woman and a claim he retaliated against the other woman when she rebuffed a sexual advance.

DiMercurio retired from the force two days after the lawsuit was filed, city officials said. DiMercurio’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

The initial accuser’s attorney, Gary Gwilliam, described the Brentwood Police Department as a “good old boys club” where a blind eye was turned to sexual harassment.

Brentwood City Manager Tim Ogden said in an email that “we won’t be responding to these unsubstantiated accusations” about the department. The woman’s claims were “a serious personnel matter,” Ogden said.

The city paid $50,000 of the $1 million settlement, while its insurance company covered the remainder, Ogden said.

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