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Lawsuit filed against city, ex-cop for half million

Lawsuit filed against city, ex-cop for half million

The Turlock teenager who claimed she was sexually assaulted by former Turlock police officer Jorge Cruz has filed a lawsuit against the city.


POSTED June 17, 2009 4:57 p.m.
The Turlock teenager who claimed she was sexually assaulted by former Turlock police officer Jorge Cruz has filed a lawsuit against the city and is seeking $500,000 for pain and suffering.
The lawsuit, filed in Stanislaus County Superior Court, names the city and Cruz as the defendants and requests at least a half million dollars for pain and suffering. The plaintiff, the 18-year-old girl who once served as a police explorer scout, claims she “has been injured and harmed and suffered severe emotional distress, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, loss of self-esteem, fearfulness and similar damages,” according to the lawsuit. In addition to the $500,00, the lawsuit also asks for an unspecified amount in damages, should the original amount be awarded.
The city has rejected the complaint. In the filed response to the claim, the attorneys representing the city give several reasons for denying the claim, among them that the plaintiff was “careless, recklessness, and negligent” in regards to her own well-being and personal safety.
Cruz pled no contest to felony sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor and sexual intercourse with a minor on Aug. 18, 2008. He was sentenced to 16 months in a state prison in October 2008. He initially had been facing four felony counts and one misdemeanor.
The teen wrote in her victim impact statement that she regularly has nightmares about Cruz and that she sleeps with a gun because of him.
“When I think about what happened I get sick to my stomach,” the statement read. “He took something from me that I’ll never get back, my security and innocence.”
The teen claims she was assaulted by Cruz on numerous occasions during police ride alongs she participated in as an explorer scout. According to the court documents, Cruz and the girl drove to a Modesto motel and had sexual intercourse. The girl states in her lawsuit that the intercourse was not consensual and that Cruz battered and raped her “under the color of authority of his uniform, badge, and role as a Turlock Police Department officer.”
In the court documents the girl said Cruz threatened her by saying he had gang members in his family and that they have “shot and killed people,” and that if she told anyone he would “kill or have somebody kill her.”
In his response to the lawsuit, Cruz states in his filing that the teen consented to the acts and was not hurt.
No trial date has been scheduled.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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