She was a passenger on a Ford Expedition on the Santa Ana Highway when California Highway Patrol officer Xavier Aguirre stopped the car and pleaded the driver for driving without a license.
It was then that the 47-year-old mother of three announced that the nightmare had begun. After the initial stop, she said, Aguirre walked over to his cruiser, turned off the video camera and pointed it towards the back of the SUV.
Then, under the guise of looking for a weapon, he felt her genitals and breasts on one of the busiest sections of the freeway in California, she said, before committing sexual assault outside her Santa Ana home. He denies any wrongdoing and has not been charged with criminal charges. He is no longer a CHP officer.
Another motorist claimed that Aguirre also groped for her just hours earlier on the same day in 2018, as the court records show.
After more than three years of litigation, CHP and the state agreed to pay $ 4.5 million to settle the federal lawsuit filed by the Santa Ana woman.
“It was a flagrant abuse of police power by Officer Aguirre. He was in uniform on duty and used his patrol force to apprehend and then rape this poor woman. And he did it twice. On the same day. She was terrified, ”said Dave Ring, who represented the woman along with lawyer Neda Lofty. The Times does not label the survivor as a victim of sexual assault. According to the records, Aguirre was fired following an internal investigation.
Aguirre, in several court documents, denied any wrongdoing during the traffic stops and visits to the 47-year-old man’s apartment complex. It was not possible to contact him for comment.
In April 2019, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office told CHP that it was refusing to press charges against Aguirra following an investigation by Santa Ana police, documents show.
While testifying in the lawsuit, Aguirre, who was 23 years old at the time of the stop, was asked to explain why he turned off the video camera, and he stated that he was nervous and afraid for his safety. He later said that he patted her because he may have seen a bulge on the woman’s body that could have been a weapon.
A later CHP investigation found that he had misused a law enforcement database to find the woman’s apartment and showed up in uniform at her door.
According to court records, surveillance video from the apartment complex showed that he arrived, noticed the woman and directed her to his patrol car.
A second woman claimed in a lawsuit that Aguirre also raped her.
A young woman was involved in a two-car accident on Highway 55 South near the Warner Avenue exit. Aguirre was the first CHP officer to arrive at the scene and sent off another car, she said.
Before putting her in the back seat of his police car, he told her that he needed to search her for smuggling and allegedly fondled her breasts over and under her shirt and felt her buttocks, waist and hips, according to her lawsuit filed in 2019 “. This “search” was carried out at least twice, when the plaintiff got out and got into the car again, ”the lawsuit says.
The case was settled by the state in July as the trial looms.