Federal Judge Calls Fullerton Police Department's Handling Of Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct By An Officer 'Shocking'

Categories: Crime-iny
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A U.S. district court judge's decision earlier this week further tainted the already ailing image of the Fullerton Police Department.

In a court document posted on the Friends For Fullerton's Future blog, U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford writes some cutting words about the department and their handling of allegations of sexual misconduct by an officer. 

Officer Albert Rincon, who was hired by the department five years ago, allegedly had a habit of detaining women and either making sexual propositions to them, groping them, or doing both, the document states.

Rincon admitted that, in violation of city policy, he never called for a female officer to help pat-down women he detained. The policy states that  "whenever practical" pat-downs should be done by an officer of the same gender as the person being searched.

Another city policy requires officers to wear a digital audio recorder and turn it on when they contact a subject. Perhaps even more damning than ignoring the pat-down rule, is the fact that  Rincon consistently turned off the audio recorder at some point during the detention of the women. "This is different than simply forgetting to switch it on. This means that Rincon chose to leave no audio recording of the arrest," Guilford writes. When asked about why he turned off the recorder, Rincon had no explanation, the document states. 

The city of Fullerton found out about the allegations in early November of 2008 and launched an investigation. By the end of the month they had put Rincon on paid administrative leave and notified the Orange County District Attorney's Office so they could investigate, too. 

Curtis McLean, an investigator in the DA's office, looked into twelve cases in which Rincon had arrested women. Of the twelve cases, seven women made claims of misconduct. McLean sent his results to the DA's office, but they decided not to file criminal charges. "There are no facts in the record that reveal why," Guilford writes of the DA's decision. 

Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the DA's office, said that after reviewing the case they weren't able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Not only could the DA not corroborate some of the victim's stories, but they also found out that several of the victims knew each other, Emami said. Several of the women had gotten together and talked before reporting their stories, which were all very similar, Emami said. 

The city did its own disciplinary investigation, the document states, but found that in six of the seven cases, there "was no evidence of improper conduct." Rincon was given four reprimands and he had to take training on what's "practical" in pat-downs. It's unclear whether the reprimand impacted Rincon's record, Guilford writes, but he notes that Rincon was not fired. 

Guilford called the city's handling of the situation "weak" and "shocking," noting that it raised questions about the custom and practice around sexual assault in the department. "Requiring Rincon to attend 'pat-down' training is weak sauce that does nothing to hide the unpleasant taste of complicity...At the end of the day, the City put Rincon back onto the streets to continue arresting women despite a pattern of sexual harassment allegations." 

Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, a spokesman for the Fullerton Police Department, said Rincon is currently on paid administrative leave, but said he couldn't comment further, because the city's lawsuit was still pending.
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25 comments
Fae Skada
Fae Skada

To me, make it real simple.  If the officer fails to turn on his recorder, there should be some serious disciplinary action taken.  Sure, tech problems occur, and if the tech department can show it was a true malfunction, then fine, but otherwise, 3 strikes,  you are now mopping up your own drool at Walmart!

shoes boot
shoes boot

Fullerton government is a cesspool. The city needs to be taken over (just like the City of Bell several months ago) and rebooted. These are the same turds that are on trial for killing Kelly Thomas by sitting on his chest and crushing his face.

John
John

OMG!... every single day I check out the latest on the Kelly Thomas murder case, and I encounter some new and separate incident of abuse by some new perverted, sadistic, corrupt Fullerton police officer.  They arrest the wrong people, they molest women, they cover up their crimes, they murder homeless men, they abuse people with their tasers, and apparently, they are members of the Klan! .... OMG. 

How does such an extensive network of union-protected, uniformed coward criminals operate so blatantly out in the open, avoiding accountability and prosecution for so long?  How is that possible in this day and age?  This Fullerton police department reads like a 1950's deep South old boys network of ignorant, fat, smelly, lazy rednecks with too much free time on their hands.

You just know Hollywood is going to eventually develop and produce a movie about this place.  Ned Beatty will end up playing the corrupt sheriff, and ... umm..... Burt Reynolds will be in there somewhere ... driving a speed boat or something.

Decent_American
Decent_American

Jesus - In Fullerton 1st Degree Murder and Rape won't even get you fired from the police department. 

Guest
Guest

I wonder if Farrah Emami would have found justification to prosecute if the women had been "rag-heads" like her.

Angus Cuffy
Angus Cuffy

It all boils down to corruption.  Is the justice system really a justice system.  When justice is really served, who wins? Is it the guilty person who is set free because they had a lawyer who knows how to weave and bob the system or the innocent person who is put to death that did not commit a crime? What is our justice system defined by, a set of laws that govern the people? Who are the people that these laws govern?

PatrickR
PatrickR

I have to agree with the Judge on this one.  It sounds like both Fullerton P.D. and the D.A.'s Office dropped the ball big time on the prior investigation.  If the D.A. reviewed the cases and felt there wasn't enought evidence to convict (they call this review the weekly Turkey Shoot) the investigators should have been sent back into the trenches to reinvestigate and find the evidence needed.  With guys like Rincon, there is always a history of past abuse and no stone should have been left unturned in finding it.  As part of the Fullerton P.D. internal investigation, Rincon should have been sent for a psychological exam which apparently was not done.  The buck stops with the Chief of Police for the sorry IA Process that apparently was in place.    

tablet computer
tablet computer

I'm just glad there paying the guy to stay home. Taxes in the state are so low they need to find things to spend money on. If i screwed up at work union job or not I wouldn't get paid leave while things were straitened out.

dewalt sale
dewalt sale

Fullerton government is a cesspool. The city needs to be taken over (just like the City of Bell several months ago) and rebooted. These are the same turds that are on trial for killing Kelly Thomas by sitting on his chest and crushing his face.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

People, it is NOT just Fullerton PD it is all of them, we have been brainwashed by media hysteria; gangs, terrorists, child molesters and progressives. All are such scarey people. During the Clinton years we were so afraid that we started hiring more police, gave them more power, and now we are seeing the results. Everyone is either a cop or a criminal.

Shaktas Na
Shaktas Na

Why does everyone always ask why people in Fullerton don't stand up?

This is the answer:The Fullerton police have guns, legal authority over regular citizens, and the ability to go to your house at any time, for any made-up reason, and if the "complainer" gets shot it will take years of their neighbors complaining about paying taxes to "possibly" prosecute the corrupt cops.

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

Why aren't the good people of Fullerton speaking up ?....Again I say WHO would hire a cop with only (ONE) eye. ........Is this where the term BLIND SIDED came from?.....How did these people even get on the Fullerton police force?.....

Yoadrian Balboa
Yoadrian Balboa

Drug and alcohol test every one of those dumb cops down there! Start with that one eyed goon who likes to pick on 135 pound weaklings and beat them to death so he and his one eyeball can show off for the others and deny his cowardly actions when he gets caught! Check these mental malfunctions for steroids and fire them on the spot if they test positive. It's pretty clear what kind of operation they are pulling down there, hiring one eyed roid rage boneheads along with hump happy horndogs who can't kep their little weiners in their pants. This entire station should have a fence built around it and sold as a side show for freaks and circus clowns. Whats next, a one eyed one legged half brain, oh excuse me, were already there, freaks pumped up with steroids? All six of those apes better get caught, every one of them is guilty of being cowards and should be demoted to cleaning toilets at the ball games. This crap is going to stop, these cops aren't going to get away with their little games they play on an everyday basis, that bull$hit is over.

N35766
N35766

Expect more things to rise out of FPD , the playtime is over everyone out of the sand ,there should be a new sheriff in town

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Fullerton cops have all the fun -- where's that employment application? I wanna be in the Feelerton PD. Yes, Sir.

909Jeff
909Jeff

This just in, 90% of Southern Californians calls Fullerton Police Shocking!

PatrickR
PatrickR

Dweezle, not true.  You are walking around with a big chip on your shoulder. 

PatrickR
PatrickR

Hey dildo, the guy you are referring to was previously a LAPD Officer who was shot on duty, lost his eye and was forced to retire.  Different departments have varying physical standards for their new hires and the Police Chief in Fullerton, being Ex-LAPD, seeing the experience and on the job valor, gave him a second chance.  While a thorough phychological exam should have been administered to the Officer before hiring, it was most likely not done.  I am sure the Chief who hired him is now wishing that he had not done so.  As far as the term "blindsided" it comes from the game of football where the quarterback is looking one direction and is creamed from the other direction by a defensive person he did not see coming.   

Jjay1289
Jjay1289

Just because its on the news doesnt mean its true. Officer Rincon is innocent!!!! Those girls that made the accusations are friends with prior histories of drugs and crimes. The news, media FORGETS THAT PART, RIGHT? , those women/ criminals, are trying to take advantage of the dept of FPD while the spotlight is on them. Think its ridiculous how they love cops in a time of disaster or time of need but are quick to call them corrupt.......THIER THE PIGS!!!  The media enjoys destroying people. Officer Rincon is ....INNOC

Gninnaf
Gninnaf

And you are walking around with Blinders.

bill
bill

Really, so then please explain why he chose to disobey department policy and turn off the recorder? please explain that.

TeoBuneo
TeoBuneo

You are full of BS. The creep deserves prison time at Folsom with his perv jacket! See how long he lasts!

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