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San Diego May Finalize Police Encounter Personal Injury Lawsuits

Two legal settlements totaling $1.56 million may be finalized by the San Diego City Council following votes to settle two personal injury lawsuits involving encounters with then-San Diego police officers.

One item involves a lawsuit filed by three women who claimed they were sexually abused during interactions with former Officer Christopher Hays in 2012. According to city documents, the City Council voted in closed session last month to settle the personal injury lawsuits: with one plaintiff for $1.25 million and another for $60,000. Hays pleaded guilty last August to to false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and battery under the color of authority by a peace officer and was sentenced to one year behind bars. Three women testified in his criminal case that they were groped and forced to perform inappropriate acts after being contacted and searched by the four-year SDPD veteran, who resigned the day after he was charged in February 2014. A fourth woman also said Hays groped her after her arrest for shoplifting. One of the women told a judge she has trouble sleeping in her own bed after Hays followed her to her apartment and had her expose her breasts and told her to touch his groin. She called him "a disgrace to the uniform" during a court hearing. Deputy District Attorney Annette Irving said Hays was banking on the notion that his victims would never tell what he did to them. At his sentencing, Hays apologized to the victims and his family for any pain he caused, saying "It's not something I'm very proud of." In the other case, a woman sued following a Feb. 4, 2013, encounter with ex-Officer Donald Moncrief. The council gave tentative approval last month to a $250,000 settlement with the woman. She alleged that Moncrief, who patrolled South Bay communities, groped her and exposed himself after arresting her in 2013. He was not charged with any crimes, though he was placed on leave and eventually left the SDPD. Originally posted by Debbie L. Sklar on timesofsandiego.com. Personal Injury Lawsuits - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

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