A lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday alleges that a former Fullerton Police Department detective spoke favorably on a woman's behalf during custody hearings in return for numerous forced sexual acts. The 51-page complaint lays out an ugly path that all began with the violation of a restraining order.
According to the lawsuit, Fullerton detective Ronald Bair investigated a restraining order breach on December 2012. The victim (whom we'll call Jane Doe, per basic journalistic ethics) had recently moved to a safe house for battered women with her young daughter to get away from an abusive ex-husband. The detective interviewed Doe at department headquarters and offered to testify on her behalf in upcoming custody hearings. After one, Bair and Doe went to El Torito, where the lawsuit alleges Bair asked for "sexy pictures" after making inappropriate comments about her body.
"The plaintiff felt that she had no option but to comply with the officer's requests as she was by then totally dependent on him, both for the criminal investigation and the custody case involving her daughter," the complaint reads.
The sexual abuse began soon afterwards, with Bair allegedly pointing his gun at her at times and even throwing a Kelly Thomas twist to the story: Bair allegedly told Doe he was "good friends" with the officers who beat Thomas to death. Through it, Bair testified favorably at custody hearings eventually getting a five-year restraining order against
the a family member of the woman 's ex-husband. After that, the complaint alleges, Bair pointed to his penis, telling Doe that she owed him big time.
Doe told therapists at her shelter about the abuse in September 2013, and says she filed a complaint against Bair with his bosses. The lawsuit alleges that not only did investigators tip off Bair, but that he turned on Doe. At the next custody hearing, the lawsuit alleges, "he testified that the plaintiff was mentally ill, was a danger to her daughter, that she was affiliated with the mafia and that she had not been the victim of domestic abuse." A judge then denied visitation rights to her daughter.
Doe gave taped statements to Fullerton police complaining about Bair. "The officers…tried to infer that the plaintiff had a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with the police detective," the lawsuit claims.
Attorneys representing Doe say otherwise. Angel Carrazco, Jr., Humberto Guizar, and Kent Henderson, a lawyer who represented the late Rodney King, are handling the suit against Bair, the City of Fullerton, its police department and unnamed officers that handled Doe's complaints for violation of her civil rights, negligence, assault and battery.
According to the legal firm, Bair is no longer with Fullerton PD for reasons unknown. Fullerton police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Stuart didn't respond to the Weekly's request to confirm Bair's employment status. For more on Bair, here's a blast from the past from the late, great Friends for Fullerton's Future blog.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @gsanroman2