S.D. to pay vic­tims of ex-of­fi­cer $1.3 mil­lion

City set­tles with two women as­saulted by Christo­pher Hays while he was on duty with the Po­lice Dept.

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Tony Perry tony.perry@la­times.com Twit­ter: @LATsandiego

The San Diego City Coun­cil has agreed to pay a to­tal of $1.3 mil­lion to two women who were sex­u­ally as­saulted by an on-duty po­lice of­fi­cer.

The set­tle­ment, voted on dur­ing a closed ses­sion last month, was not dis­closed pub­licly un­til this week.

Christo­pher Hays, who was con­victed and sen­tenced to a year in jail, was re­leased March 2 af­ter serv­ing five months. An of­fi­cer for four years, Hays, 30, re­signed af­ter his ar­rest in Fe­bru­ary 2014. He pleaded guilty to one count of felony false im­pris­on­ment and two counts of mis­de­meanor as­sault and bat­tery un­der color of author­ity.

At­tor­ney Dan Gilleon, who rep­re­sented both women, said that “the city agreed to set­tle the cases by fo­cus­ing on the harm to the vic­tims as op­posed to try­ing to de­fend” Hays’ con­duct, which Gilleon called “de­fense­less.”

The charges against Hays in­volved touch­ing women in­ap­pro­pri­ately for sex­ual grat­i­fi­ca­tion dur­ing pat-downs, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

The max­i­mum sen­tence was five years, but Su­pe­rior Court Judge Charles Rogers, in sen­tenc­ing Hays, said he took into con­sid­er­a­tion the for­mer of­fi­cer’s his­tory as a mil­i­tary vet­eran and his oth­er­wise good record as a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Hays re­ceived a medal in 2012 for run­ning into a burning build­ing to save a woman who was trapped on the sec­ond floor. He also served with the Marines in Iraq as a lance cor­po­ral.

On the day of the sen­tenc­ing, the judge said Hays would be al­lowed to move back to his na­tive Arkansas when his jail term was com­pleted.

A law­suit filed by Gilleon on be­half of a third woman abused by Hays is pending. The city has al­ready agreed to pay $8.2 mil­lion to set­tle claims from women as­saulted by of­fi­cer An­thony Areva­los, 44, who was fired from the Po­lice Depart­ment.

Con­victed of mul­ti­ple ac­counts of abus­ing women while on duty as a traf­fic of­fi­cer, Areva­los, an 18-year vet­eran of the depart­ment, was sen­tenced in 2012 to eight years in pri­son.

Howard Lipin U-T San Diego

FOR­MER SAN DIEGO po­lice Of­fi­cer Christo­pher Hays served five months in pri­son for sex­u­ally as­sault­ing two women while he was on duty. The City Coun­cil has agreed to pay the vic­tims a to­tal of $1.3 mil­lion.

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