Accuser testifies in deputy sexual assault case

VISTA (KUSI) – A preliminary hearing began Monday in Vista for the San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy accused of sexual misconduct. 32 year old Richard Fischer faces five new charges from three women who say they were groped or sexually assaulted by the deputy. Earlier this year, Fischer was ordered to stand trial for allegations stemming from 13 other alleged victims.

In testimony Monday, a 51 year old Vista woman said that Fischer forced her into oral copulation in the spring of 2017. The woman, who owns four group homes in Vista for people with mental illness testified that she initially met Fischer on New Year’s Eve when several deputies responded to a 911 call from one of the residents. She said Fischer hugged her several times that night. She said she was not comfortable when he returned several times in March. On those occasions, the woman said the deputy forcibly hugged, kissed and groped her. She testified that Fisher showed up a final time, and insisted that she let him into her apartment. Once inside, the accuser said he pulled her by the wrist into her bedroom, pushed her onto the bed and forced her to engage in oral sex.

When Fisher’s defense attorney questioned the woman to ask if she had contacted police to report the deputy’s hugging, she said she had not. Fischer has publicly denied the allegations from 16 women.

Judge Daniel Goldstein will decide if Fischer should also be tried for these five additional charges, including the most serious offense, forcible oral copulation. At least 20 women have filed lawsuits against the deputy in civil court. As of May, four of those civil cases have settled, with the County agreeing to pay $900,000 to the plaintiffs.

Related: San Diego deputy accused of sexual assault says charges are false

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