A former instructor at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy pressured a young recruit to have sex, gave her a venereal disease and then asked her to lie during an internal investigation, contends a lawsuit filed last month.
The suit, brought by 21-year-old “Jane Doe,” accuses Inglewood police Officer Joel Marquez of using his authority as a drill instructor to force her and other female recruits to have sex with him. The suit names Marquez, a South Bay Medal of Valor winner who was shot trying to free two hostages in 2013, as well as Los Angeles County and the city of Inglewood.
The victim had told Marquez that she wanted to become a law enforcement officer because she had been sexually assaulted in the past, the suit said. She claims the officer gave her chlamydia when they had sex.
“Not only did (Marquez) breach the confidence placed in him by acting as a sexual predator, seeking to single out vulnerable and inexperienced young female recruits, but more troubling he attempted to engage in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice to cover up his sexual misconduct.” the lawsuit said.
“Officer Marquez is not fit to wear a badge, as he used this badge to destroy lives and to pressure his subordinates into satisfying his wrongful sexual desires. Plaintiff is aware of other victims,” said the suit, filed June 25 in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Alan Romero of Pasadena.
Romero said Jane Doe has graduated from the academy and is now a full-time deputy. He said Marquez is on leave from the Inglewood department while an internal investigation is underway.
The state Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training reviewed the accusation and concluded the academy class was still taught as required.
Marquez in 2013 was considered a “hero” after he was shot in the police vest by a man holding his girlfriend and her teenage daughter hostage in an Inglewood home. The shooter ultimately surrendered.
Marquez, a 20-year veteran, earned $211,514 in total compensation in 2019, according to the Transparent California website of public employee compensation.
Neither the Sheriff’s Department nor Inglewood police responded to requests for comment.
Source: Orange County Register
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